New Delhi: The Finnish government’s decision to double the number of work visas for nurses and skilled labourers is likely to benefit many Indian states including Kerala. The authorities have decided to allow additional visas for tech experts and nurses from India as the European nation faces massive labour shortage. Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment Tuula Haatainen, during her recent visit to India, had reached an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Besides, NORKA principal secretary Suman Billa and NORKA CEO K Harikrishnan Namboothiri too had conducted separate meetings with the Finnish officials to discuss about unique migration policies for Keralites.
Out of a total population of 5.5 million, Finland’s labour force amounts to just 2.5 million. Many firms have been struggling to survive as the number of employees who retire has gone up. Many hospitals have reduced the number of beds due to a massive shortage of nursing staff. In a survey conducted by the country’s ministry of employment in March, it was revealed that around 70% of companies have been facing difficulties due to a shortage of labour.
As per the data released by the central government, there are 15,463 Indians (7231 NRI, 8232 OCI card holders) in Finland. Meanwhile, 1200 Indian students are studying at various universities here; most of them are pursuing Masters or PhD courses. Finland aims to increase the number of students by threefold by 2030.
NORKA CEO said that the organisation would see whether it is possible to unify the nursing curriculum of Finland and Kerala in order to enable the Keralite nurses to enjoy better opportunities.