The private sector business lobby EK has called for officials to fast-track asylum decisions, saying that a more efficient process could save close to 100 million euros. The organisation said that a quicker process would ensure that migrants get more rapid access to integration programmes and job opportunities.


The EK says government policy should require migrants in Finland to participate in integration and work programmes.


The EK said Friday that according to its calculations, shortening the asylum decision process to four months could save taxpayers nearly 100 million euros. Currently the process can take up to half a year.


The private sector business lobby said that faster decisions would also speed up refugee integration and access to the labour market.


The EK noted that asylum seekers put into integration programmes would have quicker access to Finnish language training. Employers could also do their share by providing on-the-job training to help asylum seekers get regular employment.


«Up to 40 percent of working age migrants are not employed. The EK is urging the government to fashion the benefits and services system to ensure that migrants have a responsibility to participate in integration and job training activities,» said EK communications chief Jouni Kemppainen.


«In particular, women should be encouraged to join the job market by placing emphasis on child care services and the equality of Finnish working life in municipal integration programmes,» he added.