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  • Hänninen, Milla (2018)
    Questions regarding labour market integration are becoming more prominent in Finland with rising numbers of immigrants. The Nordic welfare model has chosen the labour market as a focal point of integration because of it being a crucial arena for equality, freedom and for the integration process as a whole. Even though measures have been taken to improve immigrants labour market situation, the gap in the unemployment rates between immigrants and persons with Finnish background is still prominent. The situation is especially weak for immigrant women, who on average have a 17% lower employment rate than women with Finnish background. Immigrant women have been identified as a group that require extensive measures to improve their position in the labour market. This study is an attempt to generate more research in the area by highlighting immigrant women’s agency in the integration processes, especially focusing on labour market transitions and challenges connected to these transitions. A qualitative research design was chosen so that focus could be put on the lived experiences of the women and on interpreting their viewpoints and stories. Semi-structured interviews were used as a data collection method to be able to look deeper into the individual and personal narratives of eight first-generation immigrant women. The results demonstrate that the women have experienced many different transitions between positions in the labour market. These positions were often unstable and constantly changing, such positions were for example being on maternity leave, combining part-time work with studies or being unemployed. Furthermore, the results show that the biggest challenges encountered are connected to entering the labour market. Lack of sufficient language skills, being met with discriminatory behaviour and problems connected to transferring skills were some of the recognized problem areas. Some of the encountered challenges had momentarily felt like hindering barriers, but in the end, they turned out to be manageable obstacles that could be overcome and after all lead to successful outcomes. This study contributes to the pool of research concerning immigrant women, confirming and reinforcing previous research in the area. Policymakers should take vulnerable groups, such as immigrant women, better into consideration and further develop policies that enhance their labour market situation.
  • Jormanainen, Emmi (2017)
    Aims. The City of Helsinki is developing the education of newly arrived immigrants towards inclusion of pupils in basic education in spite of separate reception classrooms. The aim of this study was to find out, how teachers define the concept of inclusion in relation to the instruction preparing for basic education. Moreover, the study was interested in teachers' experiences and expectations of this inclusive model. The aim was to find out about the kind of support teachers need when teaching newly arrived migrant pupils. Based on this study it is possible to develop preparatory education as well as further professional training to provide the appropriate support for teachers. Methods. The research was conducted through two group-interviews with six teachers altogether. The teachers worked as class teachers or subject teachers in two different schools. The inclusive model was put into practice in one of the two schools. In addition, the aims of the preparatory education in the City of Helsinki were established from an interview with a specialist from the Educational Department. The data of this study was analysed by means of qualitative content analysis and actantial analysis. Results and conclusions. The interviewees considered inclusion as responding to the aims of education and the changing social fabric in Finland. They believed the inclusive model to be an ethical way to teach newly arrived migrant pupils, as the model enables participation in the classroom and school community better than the separate reception classroom does. However, poor knowledge of Finnish was regarded as the most challenging factor affecting the activity of these pupils. Further practical guidance as well as clearer goals for education of newly arrived immigrants and teacher's role in it were required. Teachers also wished for sufficient resources and new kind of school structures to enable more efficient collaboration with colleagues and teaching assistants. Based on the results of this study it is possible to develop guidance and support for teachers to teach newly arrived migrant children in basic education. Moreover, the resources can be targeted to promoting teachers' know-how and positive attitude to support the participation and learning of newly arrived immigrants.