International Talents Accelerating Growth

Action period: 01.05.2019-31.07.2021
Project Manager: Antikainen Marika
Funded by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Council of Tampere Region

Metropolia's part of the project ended on 30 April 2021.


The International Talents Accelerating Growth project aimed, first of all, to attract international talents to work in the Helsinki region, particularly in the fields struggling with a labour shortage. Secondly, the aim was to support the internationalisation of companies, and thirdly, help international talents already living in the region to settle in and integrate in the country and the Finnish job market. In addition, the project developed the Helsinki region ecosystem for international talents’ attraction, integration and retention by developing the cooperation and coordination of key interest groups and organisations.

The City of Helsinki coordinated the project. The project partners included the cities of Espoo and Vantaa, Aalto University, University of Helsinki, Hanken School of Economics, Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia universities of applied sciences and Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, Helsinki Business Hub and Helsinki Marketing. The project was part of Talent Boost activities and funded by the AIKO operations.

The project included three main areas of operation:

  1. attracting international talents
  2. integrating international talents
  3. developing activities to support the employment among international talents

Metropolia’s role in the project is part of the activity 3, focusing on the employment among international students. The project activities included:

  1. integration company cooperation to studies in higher education,
  2. developing and promoting an international talent pool in the Helsinki region
  3. enhancing the demand, growth and visibility of international workforce via company cooperation
  4. organising mentoring programmes, career orientation and training, as well as recruiting and networking events for international degree students, and
  5. supporting internationalisation of companies and employment of international talents via awareness raising campaigns and activities.

Universities of applied sciences held the main responsibility for the procedure (b).


By the end of the project in July 2021:

The model for coordinating the international talent ecosystem in the Helsinki area has been piloted. This has clarified the roles and responsibilities of different organisations and helped streamline the cooperation with e.g. Business Finland. A mutually beneficial partnership model for activities of the cities and the state has been identified, allowing joint efforts for working towards the goals of the Talent Boost action plan.

The model for attracting international talents has been developed and established. A brand campaign Helsinki Freedom was launched. Also several recruitment events were organised and attended for talent attraction from abroad. This has boosted the brand of the Helsinki region as an interesting destination for both work and study, accelerating the immigration of highly skilled workers. The covid-19 pandemic impacted this project goal requiring several adjustments to the project plan.

The employment and integration of international talents has become faster and easier in the Helsinki area. Real-time English-language communication to international talents has improved in quality and quantity. For instance, the services and communication of International House Helsinki were extended and developed including e.g. new service modes and employer counseling. In addition, the social and professional networking of spouses of those international talents, who have immigrated to Finland to work, has improved through the launch of Spouse Program. With that, the emigration of international talents and their families has decreased.

The cooperation of higher education institutions and companies has been boosted by establishing a sustainable collaboration model. In addition, the international talent pool of the higher education institutions in the Helsinki region has been compiled and a common career portal JobTeaser has been launched in the project institutions. During the project period also several other institutions in Finland have launched the portal. Furthermore, the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce has organised several matching and networking events and the EntryPoint mentoring programme. In addition, Hanken International Talent programme model was extended to University of Helsinki (HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme) and to Aalto University (Aalto International Talent Programme). Best practices were also shared nationally. Thanks to new procedures, the employment prospects have improved for international degree students. This has boosted the profits of education investments for the society.

The preparedness for internationalisation of companies and employers has improved with the services developed in the project. Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce developed e.g. Talent Boost Index and the Succesful Multicultural Company campaign (page in Finnish). In addition, the business coordinators in the partner cities have provided services and campaigned through their networks and events. Through these initiatives, the companies now hold better abilities to recognise and utilise international talent. Thanks to the project, employers are more aware of the added value that international talents bring to the business and the work community. There is also more know-how to handle issues with international workforce.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, certain functions of the project applied and received extension for the project period until 31 July 2021. Metropolia's part ended by the original end date, 30 April 2021.

The thematic areas will continue to be developed in the Talent Helsinki project (2021-2022).