Cover for article 'VR Fast Track Competence Assessment key to working life'

The cities of Helsinki and Turku are experiencing positive structural change, which has caused a labour shortage. At the same time, Finland has placed last among OECD countries when it comes to employing immigrants. One of the biggest obstacles to immigrant employment is language. The goal of the ‘VR Fast Track Competence Assessment key to working life’ project is to develop and test the use of virtual reality in identifying skills and supporting employment training, when language skills only pose a minimal restriction to employment.

One of the objectives is also to increase the knowledge companies (e.g. recruitment companies) have about the utilisation of virtual reality in training and familiarising employees. In addition to this, the project will also be experimenting with a low-threshold work pool, where immigrants work for employers as entrepreneurs.

The primary measures of the project are to

• Develop a fast track model for competence identification using virtual reality together with immigrant organisations (e.g. MONIKA – Multicultural Women’s Association) and entrepreneurs and open routes for employment especially in fields affected by the positive structural change.
• Brainstorm, develop, test and model a training package utilising virtual opportunities to train immigrants to meet employers’ needs. The model determines elements such as the applications and additional equipment needed for implementing the training as well as the price of planning and implementing the training.
• Develop a model that consortia of companies (employer pools) could use to employ immigrant teams (employee pools), for example, and test the possibilities of light entrepreneurship in terms of immigrant employment and valuable work experience together with the employer and immigrant organisations.
• Examine how low-threshold work promotes the language proficiency of immigrants and opportunities for further employment.

The project is coordinated by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, the partner is Turku University of Applied Sciences. The project period is 1 October 2019–31 December 2021 with a budget of 577,604 euros.

Further information:
Merja Drake
Principal Lecturer
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 (0)50 327 5659, merja.drake(at)haaga-helia.fi