A1 Journal article (refereed)
Minding the Gaps : The Role of Finnish Civil Society Organizations in the Labour Market Integration of Migrants (2021)

Bontenbal, I., & Lillie, N. (2021). Minding the Gaps : The Role of Finnish Civil Society Organizations in the Labour Market Integration of Migrants. Voluntas, 33(5), 862-871. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-021-00334-w

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Bontenbal, Ilona; Lillie, Nathan

Journal or series: Voluntas

ISSN: 0957-8765

eISSN: 1573-7888

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 17/03/2021

Volume: 33

Issue number: 5

Pages range: 862-871

Publisher: Springer

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-021-00334-w

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74682


The growing role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in welfare service provision is sometimes portrayed as a threat to welfare state universalism in Nordic societies. In Finland, CSOs co-produce integration services alongside comprehensive official integration programmes, compensating for gaps and shortcomings in those services. We identify three “gaps”, which are (1) limited availability of services in terms of time and target group, (2) lack of direct labour market contacts and (3) limited flexibility to serve individual needs. We assess how CSOs target these gaps with their service offerings through qualitative interviews with policy implementers, CSO workers and migrants. However, CSOs’ role in labour market integration is inherently limited by their services being small scale, short term and project based. We find that due to their independence and limited role, CSOs operate synergistically with official services, extending rather than undermining universalism.

Keywords: non-governmental organisations; third sector; civil society; immigrants; migrant integration; labour market; welfare services; welfare state; public services; role

Free keywords: migrant labour market integration; active labour market services for migrants; co-production; role of CSOs; welfare state universalism

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 13:36