Deloitte Finland: The OK! Program
Integrating immigrant youth into the Finnish community
The OK! Program responds to a demand for skilled workers in Finland and a need to support immigrant youth to successfully enter the workforce. The Finnish Children and Youth Foundation has teamed up with Deloitte Finland to improve work readiness and interpersonal skills among young people in Helsinki between 17 and 25 years of age who have immigrated to Finland. Unemployment among this group is high; this demographic is known to face the most challenges in accessing employment opportunities.
More than 100 students have participated to date. The work readiness course gives each student the opportunity to work closely with a mentor.
The OK! Program curriculum includes: communications skills, an introduction to the Finnish working environment, and support on setting achievable employment goals. Simultaneously with the training, students are given the opportunity to apply their new-found skills during an internship at one of the participating Finnish organizations. The goal of the program is to help participants secure employment and a long-term position within the Finnish economy.
As the program’s primary business supporter, Deloitte Finland is represented on the program steering committee, providing leadership and strategic planning advice to the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation, which administers the program. Mia Liimo, a marketing professional with Deloitte Finland and a Deloitte21 Fellow, serves on the project steering committee. Teppo Rantanen, Deloitte Finland’s CEO, is a member of the program’s executive committee.
In addition, Deloitte Finland consultants mentor the students and help develop the work readiness training they receive. Deloitte Finland also provides office facilities and computers for the training sessions, enabling students to learn in an environment that models the work environment and adapt to a business setting before they begin their internships.
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“The OK! Program supports the Deloitte21 vision and community investment agenda. Deloitte Finland’s professionals have actively and willingly taken part in the project as trainers and mentors, which has helped in getting youngsters more committed to the program and taking control of their lives. This project promotes tolerance, diversity themes, helping underserved youth better succeed in the 21st century economy, and integration into the Finnish working environment.”
– Teppo Rantanen, CEO, Deloitte Finland