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Ukrainian seasonal workers wait in line to check in for a flight to Finland where they can earn much more than at home as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the economy

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‘World’s happiest country’ seeks migrants

HelsinkiFinland, June 22 – Repeatedly dubbed the happiest nation on the planet with world-beating living standards, Finland should be deluged by people wanting to relocate, but in fact it faces an acute workforce shortage.

“It’s now widely acknowledged that we need a spectacular number of people to come to the country,” recruiter Saku Tihverainen from agency Talented Solutions told AFP.

Workers are needed “to help cover the cost of the greying generation”, the recruiter explained.

While many Western countries are battling weak population growth, few are feeling the effects as sharply as Finland.

With 39.2 over-65s per 100 working-age people, it is second only to Japan in the extent of its ageing population, according to the UN, which forecasts that by 2030 the “old age dependency ratio” will rise to 47.5.

The government has warned that the nation of 5.5 million needs to practically double immigration levels to 20,000-30,000 a year to maintain public services and plug a looming pensions deficit.

Finland might seem like an attractive destination on

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