Espoo’s objective in the Finnish Municipality Experiment on Employment: employment for everyone

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2020-02-04 15:23

The City Board of Espoo today confirmed Espoo’s participation in the Finnish Municipality Experiment on Employment to be carried out in 2020–2022, in which municipalities will assume broader responsibility for organising employment services. The objective of the experiments on employment is to more efficiently promote the employment and education opportunities of unemployed jobseekers and to find new solutions for improving the availability of skilled labour. At the national level, the purpose of the experiments is to improve the employment of the long-term unemployed and those who are in a poor position in the employment market in particular. In Espoo, the special target group of the experiment is adolescents and immigrants.

The experiment involves finding new ways of combining the government’s and municipalities’ expertise and resources in promoting employment and the fulfilment of employers’ labour needs. “The experiment will develop new services and models for supporting the employment of jobseekers, with the aim of more effectively identifying and addressing clients’ individual service needs, obstacles to employment and competence development needs,” says the City of Espoo’s Head of Employment Services Hilla-Maaria Sipilä.

The experiment’s clients will consist of both jobseekers and employers. The experiment also aims at finding solutions to the City’s own labour needs, especially in industries suffering from labour shortages. ”We must also address the City’s own labour needs with this experiment, in areas such as services for the elderly. Doing so will also benefit businesses in the industry and the third sector,” states Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

When it comes to employment, cities’ youth, business development, immigration, health, social and education services nowadays play an increasingly important role alongside the statutory services of the TE Office and cities’ own employment services. In Espoo’s experiment, cooperation with Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in the Espoo Region, and other education and training service providers will also be critical to success.

“What we need now is the open-mindedness to fully utilise the range of available means to promote the employment of the residents of Espoo. The City’s health services are one of the key cooperation partners in these efforts,” states Director Of Health Services Sanna Svahn.

The municipalities participating in the experiment will assume responsibility for all unemployed jobseekers who are ineligible for earnings-related unemployment allowance, all jobseekers under the age of 30 and all immigrants who are either unemployed or clients of TE Services. As regards Espoo, this means approximately 14,000 local residents, over half of whom are non-native speakers.

“One of the special characteristics of Espoo is the high number of highly educated residents, among non-native jobseekers as well. Over 2,100 of the non-native speakers in our target group hold a university degree. At the same time, many industries are suffering from labour shortages, while many businesses are also hoping to internationalise. This experiment is a great opportunity to bring together the international professionals already living in Espoo and employers,” says Director for Business and Economic Development Tuula Antola.

Preparations for the experiment are already well underway within the City organisation in collaboration with colleagues from the Uusimaa TE office. “I am confident that combining the TE Office’s solid labour administration expertise with the City’s wide range of means of promoting employment will allow us to find new and effective models for better serving the needs of both jobseekers and employers,” Antola continues.

In addition to Espoo, other participants in the Finnish Municipality Experiment on Employment from the Uusimaa region include Helsinki and a joint experiment by Vantaa and Kerava. In total, 20 municipalities or municipal consortia are taking part in the experiment.