More than a 1,000 immigrants employed through Integration SIB project

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 20.10.2020 11.00
Press release

An experiment aiming to employ immigrants quickly made use of the SIB (Social Impact Bond) model of impact investing. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will hire an external evaluator to assess the success of the experiment. The preliminary results are encouraging.

The experiment was based on the need to employ and integrate immigrants more quickly and to help employers have access to workforce. The objective was to boost the employment of immigrants by bringing together companies and employees and by customising the training of immigrants according to what is needed at workplaces.

The project was carried out in the Greater Helsinki area, Southwest Finland, the Tampere region, the Oulu region and Joensuu in 2016–2019. A total of 2,217 immigrants participated in the experiment, of which 1,034 were employed by the end of September 2020. Of the participants, 1,692 received training for more than 70 days. More than 50 percent of those who completed the training were employed.

The logistics, hotel and restaurant, cleaning, construction, financial administration, information technology and manufacturing industry sectors employed the most immigrants in the project.

“The experiment was significant because it tested new ways of funding and tailoring integration training to the needs of companies. The preliminary results are promising with more than half of the participating immigrants finding employment,” says Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Private investors fund the experiment – the State pays if results are achieved

A form of impact investing called Social Impact Bond (SIB) was used in the experiment. In the SIB model, the public sector determines the performance targets of the experiment and pays only if they are achieved. Such experiments are financed with private capital and the State pays a return on the investment if the performance targets are met.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will hire an external evaluator to assess the results of the experiment. The evaluation will be conducted in 2021–2022. It will compare the tax payments and unemployment benefits of those participating in the experiment with a reference group. The State considers the experiment successful if the participants pay more taxes and receive fewer unemployment benefits than the reference group.

In addition to the quick employment and integration of immigrants, the SIB model has been used in Finland to promote well-being at work in the public sector, to reduce youth exclusion and the taking children into care and to employ people who have been without work for a long time. Other projects are also being planned.


Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 112
Mika Pyykkö, Director, Centre of Expertise for Impact Investing, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 135