The initial assessment referred to in the Integration Act means a package of measures enabling the authority to conduct a preliminary assessment of the immigrant’s preparedness concerning employment, study and other aspects of integration and the need for language training and other measures and services promoting integration. The municipality or TE Office carries out the initial assessment in cooperation with the immigrant and, if necessary, with the wellbeing services county.
During the initial assessment, the authority determines the immigrant’s previous education, training, employment history, language skills and other factors influencing the person’s employment prospects and integration. The objective is to direct immigrants flexibly and based on their needs to the services and measures that will promote their access to the Finnish society as its active members.
During initial assessments in bilingual areas, the official and the immigrant also look at the immigrants’ integration language and whether learning Swedish would facilitate faster inclusion in their local community.
Everyone benefits from the smooth start of integration
Both the immigrant and the receiving society benefit from an efficient early stage of integration. For example, studies indicate that immigrants have the best motivation for language learning and other studies in the early stage after their arrival. They also have a strong drive to find employment and their place as members of society. Prolonged waiting periods and incorrectly targeted measures tend to make immigrants more passive.
The purpose of the initial assessment is to enhance integration. Along with the basic information and the required guidance and advice, it is an efficient tool in initiating a smooth integration process. When the authority has carried out the initial assessment without delay and directed the immigrant promptly to services that meet the person's needs, there may be less need for integration and other special services.
When integration and transition to the world of work take place faster, savings will be made in the employment security and social assistance expenses and the costs of healthcare and social welfare services. Engagement in the new local community and society supports the forming of a sense of belonging and may prevent social exclusion.
Initial assessment lays the basis for further measures
The initial assessment and an assessment of the starting level in language proficiency often performed in conjunction with it provide a good basis for preparing the integration plan and seeking integration training. With a sufficiently comprehensive initial assessment, a suitable teaching group or other services can be pointed out to the immigrant. The initial assessment supports guidance before the immigrant starts in education or training and serves as a basis for drawing up a study plan during it.
Decree on Initial Assessments Associated with Promoting Integration (Only in Finnish and Swedish)