Women to Work project employees Zainab Al-Ali, Suhuur Musse and Marina Rinas.

Helsinki-lehti highlights city efforts to help new arrivals find jobs

The latest issue of the City of Helsinki’s print publication focuses on municipal programmes that assist members of the city’s international community to secure employment. You can also find information on exciting new English-language websites and advisory services.

The December issue of Helsinki-lehti went to press before the recent Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group decision to shut down many activities for three weeks starting on 30 November. The initiative seeks to protect residents of the area from contracting covid-19, which is once again actively spreading in the capital region.

The latest recommendations and restrictions are available online at the City of Helsinki’s English-language website, which also contains municipal Coronavirus updates.

The Helsinki-lehti page in English begins with a reminder to everyone to wear face masks in all situations where it is difficult to avoid close contact with others, as mask use together with through handwashing and careful social distancing can literally save lives.

Helsinki is handing out free masks at several distribution points throughout the city. The masks are available to everyone who needs them, no questions asked, as no one’s financial situation should be an impediment to keeping safe.

The page continues by shining a light on many useful municipal services for jobseekers who are members of Helsinki’s international community. Chiara Costa-Virtanen arrived in Finland from Italy seven years ago and now works at the Helsinki Skills Centre advising and assisting fellow newcomers to learn a profession, build networks and find a job.

“Unemployment can be mentally draining and lead to depression. It can also slow integration as you mentally refuse to engage with a society that won’t give you an opportunity to contribute. Finding a workplace with the help of professionals can really change the way you see the world and the way you see Finland,” she says.

In a similar vein, the City of Helsinki’s Women to Work project offers targeted career guidance in Russian, Somali, Arabic and easy-to-understand Finnish. Project employees like the women featured in the photo above help participants learn digital and social media skills and find their footing in the job market or a field of education.

The English page also calls attention to several new services the city is providing in English, including a new education phone line that answers questions about municipal playgroups, daycare and schools, and Helsinki’s new tapahtumat.fi website that gathers all of the interesting events in the region into one handy location.

Another important development that is noted is the long-awaited launch of the omaolo.fi online health service in its entirety in English. Now residents of the city who do not speak Finnish or Swedish can use the handy 24/7 service to assess coronavirus symptoms and book tests, among other things.

Look out for the Helsinki-lehti in your post box to read more about each of these subjects. In the meantime, please do your best to comply with the prevailing recommendations and restrictions. The City of Helsinki values each of its residents and the contributions they make. Together we will come out of the coronavirus crisis stronger and more united.

Helsinki-lehti content is available in an accessible online format at julkaisut.hel.fi.

To learn more:

Coronavirus updates from Helsinki

Face mask distribution points

City of Helsinki employment services for jobseekers

Helsinki Skills Center

Photo: Tanja Namrood