Anna Ojapelto’s Master’s thesis is now published and available here. In her thesis, Ojapelto examined how the notion of employability has become prevalent in integration policies and practices within integration training in Finland. Below is the abstract of the thesis:

The current state of migration and integration in Finland seems to be marked by employability-driven agenda. This, however, has not been the prominent way of thought for very long. In different times, different perceptions of how to approach migration and integration are emphasized. These perceptions are being reflected also to integration training for adults which is a central interest in this work.

In this thesis, I seek to examine how has the notion of employability become prevalent in integration policies and practices within integration training in Finland. The approach in this study is discursive and genealogical policy research. As data, I examine curriculum texts and curriculum recommendations for integration training for adults from the years 1997, 2007, 2012, and 2017.

Between 1997–2017, the basis for integration training has changed from rights and equality-based approach towards an activation and employment-based approach. Simultaneously, the perception of integration is narrowed to increasingly highlight the individual’s responsibility instead of shared responsibility between the migrant and the receiving society. The function of the integration training has also become more instrumental as its main purpose being to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge needed in working life and further studies whereas before it was about starting and supporting migrant’s integration and preventing social exclusion. The more fragmented the field of integration has become, the more regulative and specific the contents and the guidelines in data documents have become. Through the years, guidance counselling and assessment have gained ground increasingly in integration training.

Certain ways of thinking and doing tend to infiltrate and establish their position in the integration policies and practices even without it being realized. This study seeks to awaken thoughts on what integrative practices produce and what kind of interests they actually serve.

The thesis is written in English. However, there is a blog post about the thesis in Finnish on SVV – Sivistystyön Vapaus ja Vastuu website. You can find the blog post here.