Education

Espoo schools are some of the best, and should continue to lead the way.

  • Primary and lower secondary education: investing in school buildings, staff and equipment leads to better educated students.

  • For students that cannot study in Finnish or Swedish, or for Finnish families returning from abroad, more public English-language and bi-lingual (Finnish-English) study places should be made available.  Businesses trying to hire foreign talent to fill vacant positions cannot attract prospective employees who have children without schools available to them.

  • Zero tolerance for bullying. The regional ‘On the Same Side’ campaign is a great step toward making this a reality.

  • Increase bachelors degrees available in English in the Finnish university system (ie at Aalto, Laurea, Metropolia) enabling students who lack Finnish skills to remain in Finland to study. This increases their chances of establishing a career here, as well as avoiding ‘brain drain’.  It also fosters lifelong learning for those living in Finland, enabling some to earn an advanced degree.

Environment

Espoo needs to lead the way in both reducing its carbon footprint and caring for the environment.

  • Despite ongoing efforts, Espoo - like much of the world - is behind schedule to meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that pertain to environmental protection.

  • Fully electric vehicles should be encouraged through greater subsidies, more charging stations and standardized outlets; Espoo City should be a leader and an example by investing in a fully-electric fleet

  • Only electricity produced sustainably should be used by Espoo City facilities, and this should be transparent

  • HSL’s fleet of electric buses should be expanded rapidly.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are a crucial component of Finland’s economic future, and must be supported

  • Support must go beyond ‘Starttiraha’, with financial and regulatory encouragement.

  • Start-up companies that struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic should be kept viable.

  • Matching skilled, non-native Espoo residents with the needs of Espoo employers must be improved. There are efforts underway in Espoo to do this, but it must be increased and sustained.

  • Foreigners living in Finland, and especially those without strong Finnish language skills, must be better supported in their full engagement to Finnish society through improved English language and Finnish selkokieli information. Pilot projects such as ‘Hello Espoo’ are a step in the right direction.