Chamber of Commerce jointly donated 35,000 euros to SeAMK and Sedu

Three people hold a large donation diploma in their hands.
Chamber of Commerce jointly donated 35,000 euros to SeAMK and Sedu. Photo: Sanni Suortti.

The South Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce is deeply concerned about the labour shortage faced by businesses in the region. Growth cannot occur without skilled professionals, which is why international students already present in our region are the best opportunity for companies to quickly acquire educated workforce. Students also constantly need valuable internship and thesis positions, from which they can transition into the work-life upon graduation.

“One of the fundamental tasks of the Chamber of Commerce is to promote the overall success of the entire region. Tax revenues sustain societal services, and if taxable income does not materialise, it means that businesses do not thrive, and there are no funds available for building well-being in society,” says Tomi Kohtanen, Managing Director of the South Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce.

“The employment of students in their own region is of paramount importance for municipalities and cities in terms of attraction and retention. Therefore, together, we must turn every stone to tackle all obstacles to employment,” Kohtanen emphasises.

In regional development, close collaboration with both businesses and educational institutions is a prerequisite for success. The idea to deepen cooperation emerged when the Chamber of Commerce board met international students from the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK).

“At that time, the idea crystallised that we want to do something significantly good to address the current situation,” says Juhamatti Aronen, Chairman of the board.

SeAMK invests heavily in internationalisation, supported not only by extensive and long-term experience but also by a broad network of collaboration, enabling internationalisation as part of education or work.

“At present, SeAMK has 600 international degree students in English-language degree programmes. They finance their studies in South Ostrobothnia themselves. They are highly motivated and acquire skills equal to our Finnish-speaking students. In light of population forecasts, it is crucial for South Ostrobothnia’s destiny how well they can be employed in the region’s jobs. The Chamber of Commerce’s donation and the subsequent measures are an important step in advancing this matter,” says Jaakko Hallila, President and CEO of the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

The donated amount aims to find internship and on-the-job-learning positions for SeAMK’s international students. In addition, efforts are made to enhance the internationalisation readiness of our region’s companies, making them more prepared to offer these positions to students with a foreign background.

The Seinäjoki Joint Municipal Authority for Education (Sedu) continually works to improve the employment opportunities for international students throughout South Ostrobothnia.

“This is important because there is a labour shortage in the area, and the utilisation of foreign work-force is quite limited. By investing in this, Sedu fulfils its mission, which includes the development of the region’s business and economic life,” says Pasi Artikainen, Director of Sedu.

In collaboration with SeAMK, Sedu supports the networking of international students, seeks on-the-job-learning positions, and organises training for companies on receiving and integrating international interns and employees.

“Sedu has hundreds of internationally oriented students, studying in vocational or Finnish language programmes. Proficiency in the Finnish language significantly improves the chances of employment in the region, and that’s why we have developed these services for international students. Together with employers, we have improved workplace readiness to accommodate employees with an international background,” Artikainen concludes.

Further information: 

Managing Director Tomi Kohtanen, t. +358 50 506 27 55,

Director Pasi Artikainen, t. + 358 40 830 24 15,

President and CEO Jaakko Hallila, t. +358 40 868 06 21,