Citizens Co-Lead Efforts to Integrate Immigrant Youth in Helsinki, Finland

Ismail Abdullahi was 18 and looking for a job without success. If your name doesn’t sound Finnish, it can be difficult to get an interview in Helsinki. Especially if you don’t have much experience to show on your resume.

Then, in May of 2016, Ismail secured his first shift with Job’d. The program helps young immigrants get work experience, pairing them with nonprofit organizations, individuals, and businesses to complete short work shifts, which are posted on an app called Treamer. Employers can post reviews on the app and users can gain access to training. The program helps participants like Ismail develop their resumes and the skills needed to succeed in the workplace, as well as a network of contacts who can serve as references.

Some Job’d participants work with Helsinki veterans and senior citizens who need assistance getting around or completing household tasks. Others work at nonprofit organizations or, in Ismail’s case, at the local mall.

Job’d partnered with Itis shopping mall to recruit Somali and Arabic speakers to staff the information desk and provide customer support. After his first shift, it was apparent to his manager that Ismail was responsible and hard working. He received high reviews, which helped him get shifts at other organizations, including driving cars for the biggest bank in Finland.

With so much experience on his resume, Ismail was able to land a permanent job at Vantaa Airport in April 2017.

“The work experience I have received from Job’d and the mobile app has changed my life,” he said. “I have learned a lot and would never have got this job without that experience.”