In total, four training courses will be offered in the form of a pilot project. The first course began at the end of August with four to six participants. The courses are organised in the framework of IKUT, a project coordinated by the National Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking for improving the working life skills and competence of victims of human trafficking. The Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking is a part of the Finnish Immigration Service.
Individual support to victims of human trafficking
The training is carried out as ten-week courses. At the beginning of each course, a comprehensive initial assessment will be made for the participants, who will then be given individual support and guidance on the basis of the assessment.
“Individual guidance plays a very important role in the working life training we provide. During the initial assessment period, we have gained a more solid understanding of the employment opportunities available to victims of human trafficking as well as the variety of needs they have in relation to working life. Through individual guidance we can also more effectively support such participants who cannot take part in group activities because of their current situation in life,” says Project Manager Veikko Mäkelä.
The training includes 12 to 15 hours of group activities per week, including training in everyday life management skills, IT skills and Finnish as well as lectures that prepare the participants for working life. Themes such as workers’ rights and how to seek employment will be discussed with the participants, and they will get support with building a network.
Aim to improve employment services for victims of human trafficking
In addition to supporting victims of human trafficking, the working life training aims to gather information on what kinds of needs victims of exploitation, such as human trafficking, have regarding working life. This information can be useful in the development of services for the victims.
“The training courses help us better understand what kind of support victims of human trafficking need and want in order to develop their working life skills and to find employment in the long term. Ideally, the information could be used to develop employment services so that they could more effectively help bring victims of human trafficking out of the shadows of society,” says Mäkelä.
The training courses are organised in cooperation with Victim Support Finland and MONIKA – Multicultural Women’s Association. The employment and social services of the cities of Vantaa, Espoo and Helsinki have also contributed to the training courses.
The IKUT project receives support from the European Social Fund (ESF). Funding for the project is granted by the Häme Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
Source: Finnish Immigration Service