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Language skills to shape Language skills to shape

Better fitness in working life with improved Finnish skills

In the Multicultural Center of Oulu, Villa Victor (Asemakatu 5), a 3-year long project Language skills facilitate integration (Kielen taidot työllistymisen tukena) has started. It is financed by the European Union Social Fund (ESR), and the main objective is to develop Finnish education for immigrants to meet better the challenges and requirements of the working life.

Ways of action

  • developing the current teaching to meet better the specific needs of the students
  • individually designed courses with special themes with co-operation partners
  • developing a virtual learning platform for the Finnish language courses

One of the biggest challenges in the integration into the society is the ability to control one's personal life: working, studying and supporting yourself and your family. Weaknesses in language skills are the main reason for the fact that immigrants have a higher unemployment rates than indigenous people. Besides, difficulties in understanding or use of Finnish language may cause a severe problems in studies and may be an obstacle for the opportunity of higher education.

In Villa Victor, several courses of different levels in Finnish language are ran with the principle of low threshold meaning that anyone may come to study the language starting from basics followed by continuing levels. The current concept serves a wide range of immigrants of varying backgrounds as a general and first Finnish learning course. Still, it cannot meet more individual or specific needs for the working life.

In the Language skills –program the main goal is to develop the language teaching focusing on the individual needs of students, and to their more specific requirements related to the working place or education: special vocabulary, different contexts in language use, customer service etc. In addition, a virtual Finnish language environment is created to support the contact teaching and for individual studies. In addition to the current courses, new teaching groups are formed for illiterate students.

Language skills facilitate integration is a 3-year project financed by the European Social Fund and the City of Oulu, as part of the structural fund "Sustainable growth and jobs 2014-2020". Multicultural Center Villa Victor is the responsible party for the implementation of the project, partners within the city organization are  Work and Entrepreneurship services, Educational and cultural services and Social and family services. Co-operation parties are the University of Oulu, TE-office, BusinnesOulu, 3rd sector organisations and Vocational schools and other educational institutes, and the Center of Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY-keskus). The target groups are job seekers with immigrant background, and organizations, institutes and enterprises.

Contact information

project manager Veli-Pekka Pelkonen,
tel. 050 361 3842

project coordinator Sannamari Sala

Welcome along to build a new colorful and multicultural Oulu!


project brochure (pdf)

Brochure in other languages