Epicenter, a leading innovation hub in Helsinki, and the City of Helsinki’s Spouse Program have teamed up to support and welcome international professionals and their families in Finland. The partnership aims to facilitate the relocation process by providing networking events, working desks in the innovative community, and access to resources and networks of companies working in Epicenter.
The importance of international talent in Finland cannot be overstated. With a rapidly changing global economy, the country relies on international professionals and entrepreneurs to bring diverse skills, knowledge, and experience to the region. They play a vital role in the Finnish economy and society, particularly in Helsinki, by addressing the skills gap and driving innovation.
“International talents’ spouses often face challenges when moving to a new country, such as navigating a new culture and language, finding a job, and building a social network. We have learned that talking about integration is often mainly related to finding a job. This is without a doubt a very important part of integration. But not all of it – making new friends and understanding the new culture around them, is equally important to our participants”, says Jochen Faugel, project planner for the Spouse Program.
With over 900 participants and more than 40 partners, including companies, public players, and NGOs, the Spouse Program has been an important resource for international spouses in the region.
“Many found their first and lasting friends in our community, got a better understanding of the job market or built up the courage to start their own business. About half of those who join our career coaching find a job within one year and we even have a few spouses who are now company representatives of our partners. The Spouse Program also provides valuable support for its company partners who can use this initiative in the recruitment process when trying to hire people from abroad”, Faugel underlines.
Kristian Nieminen, the country manager of Epicenter, agrees that the collaboration will bring benefits all parties and aligns with the common goal of supporting international talent in Finland.
“We are excited to collaborate with the Spouse Program to provide a comprehensive support system for international professionals and their families. Epicenter offers not only a central location and a diverse community of companies, but also resources such as mentorship and networking opportunities that can benefit the integration process of international talents and their families. By working with the Spouse Program, we will be able to expand our network of international talent and partners. We are sure that we can achieve many great things together.”
“To remain competitive in a rapidly changing global economy, Helsinki relies on international talent to bring diverse skills, knowledge, and experience to the city. In particular, international professionals and entrepreneurs with their families help address the skills gap in Finland”, Nieminen adds.
With the collaboration between Epicenter and the Spouse Program, international professionals and their families can find success and thrive in their new home in Finland.
The Spouse Program, launched in June 2020, is an initiative designed to support international spouses living in Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa in their integration process. It offers events, workshops, and career coaching services to help participants rebuild their social and professional networks and integrate into their new community. The Spouse Program is part of the Talent Boost program – #TalentBoost.