Social guarantee for young people will come into force from the start of 2013
The Youth Guarantee will offer everyone under the age of 25, as well as recent graduates under 30, a job, on-the-job training, a study place or rehabilitation within three months of becoming unemployed. The cross-administrative Youth Guarantee takes effect from the start of 2013.
The Finnish Youth Guarantee is to be based on the Public-Private-People-Partnership model, where young adults are themselves the active players, responsible for their own future. It is a Government spearhead project and will be implemented throughout the government's term of office.
The reason for the initiative is growing concern for the risk of social exclusion of youth. Young people in Finland are well educated in the main. However, among 20-29 year olds, around 110 000 rely on what is merely a basic level of education and 55 000 young people are unemployed jobseekers. Youth unemployment is on the increase.
Altogether, it is estimated that there are 40 000 untrained young people who are not working or in education or training programmes. Such exclusion among the young costs the nation approximately 300 million euros a year.
The government has agreed that the Youth Guarantee is to receive 60 million euros a year. Approximately half of this sum will go to the administrative sector of the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the rest to the equivalent branch of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Furthermore, the young adults skills programme will receive 27 million euros in 2013 and 52 million euros in the years 2014-2016.
There will be more funding available for youth workshop activities and outreach youth work: the appropriation for years 2013-2015 will increase to 19.5 million euros, and to 11.5 million euros in 2016.
The Youth Guarantee consists of various elements
The Youth Guarantee consists of various elements: a guarantee of employment, one of education or training, a young adults skills programme, a youth workshop, and outreach youth work.
The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture will be responsible for the guarantee of education and training, the young adults skills programme, the youth workshop and outreach youth work. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Workshop activities and outreach youth work
Workshop activities and outreach youth work represent early intervention in youth exclusion. The work is targeted at young people who are inactive and who need other support (NEETs = not in employment, education or training). Both types of activity will be expanded in the period 2013–2 016.
The main tasks of the youth workshop are to strengthen young peoples life skills and social empowerment, provide early support, and promote greater steady social awareness and learning by doing. The workshop is an opportunity for young people to participate in supervised, subsidised employment schemes, follow a tailor-made educational/training path, or find employment on the open labour market. The Youth Guarantee is a tool for improving the quality of workshops and strengthening cooperation between them and educational establishments on a young persons educational/training path.
It is the task of outreach youth work to help young people who are not in education, training or employment or who need support, and refer them to the services that are right for them. The Finnish Youth Act has laid down provisions on outreach youth work and multi-disciplinary cooperation at local level since 2011. The Youth Guarantee will be a way to make these activities available all over the country.
More study places in vocational education
There have been an additional 1 700 study places created in vocational education for young people in areas where there were fewer study places for people in this age group than elsewhere. This makes it easier for young people to move into upper level vocational education, cutting the numbers of those who are excluded from educational courses.
New selection criteria
The selection criteria in vocational education are undergoing a change, with those leaving comprehensive school with no upper level qualification being given priority to study for such a qualification.
Local authorities responsible for student guidance
Student guidance during basic education ends when basic education ends. The aim is for local authorities to have legal responsibility for providing young people who have ended basic education with proper guidance.
More language tuition for young immigrants
Compared with the nation as a whole, young immigrants account for a greater number of those who do not apply for, have not been selected for, or who have quit or dropped out of study places. The situation is especially challenging for those young people who have arrived in Finland in the final stages of the Finnish programme of basic education. Language training for immigrants is to be increased in folk high schools and adult education centres, allowing them to improve their readiness for study and their language skills.
Employers to receive a better deal for apprentice training
Apprenticeships are to be developed to make them more suitable also as a form of young persons education or training. Employers will receive a better package of remuneration for apprenticeships offered to young people just leaving comprehensive school.
Young adults skills programme
For those aged between 20 and 29 who have relied merely on their comprehensive school qualifications before the Guarantee takes effect, a young adults skills programme will be organised during the period 2013-2016, providing them with better opportunities for applying for vocational courses leading to a degree or other qualification.
Under the programme, young people will be able to gain a vocational, specialist vocational or initial vocational qualification. It is hoped that 36 000 people will start in the programme each year it runs.
The programme will also act as a forum for advice and guidance on how to apply for study places for young adults and on following a course of study.
Youth employment is to be supported by making the Chance Card a permanent feature of the system. The Chance Card has been found to lower the employer threshold for hiring young people. It enables employers to benefit from a contribution of 670 euros a month made towards their employment costs.
There will also be more youth services and career guidance provided at the Employment and Economic Development Offices, and new forms of entrepreneurship are to be developed through training, advice and start-up grants.