Act on Työkanava to enter into force on 1 July
The Act on Työkanava Ltd will enter into force on 1 July. The company’s business operations will begin in stages during 2022. Työkanava will receive additional funding from the supplementary budget in July to launch its operations. Sari Nikkola will start as the company’s chief executive on 1 September 2022.
Työkanava is a new special assignment company wholly owned by the state. Its task is to promote the employment of people with impaired work capacity who are in the most difficult labour market position. The company supports their skills and capabilities so that they can find employment in the open labour market after working at Työkanava.
Employment with Työkanava is the option of last resort when all other opportunities for finding employment have been exhausted. Based on a current estimate, in the early stages of its operations, the company will employ a few hundred people with impaired capacity to work each year. However, fewer people will be employed during the first year of operations in 2022. After the operations have been established, the company aims to have approximately 1,000 persons in an employment relationship. The first people with impaired work capacity are expected to be employed at Työkanava at the end of 2022.
“Työkanava will provide concrete help to people with impaired work capacity who have previously been sidelined in employment measures or who have not been able to find employment despite various services. The company will offer them work in an employment relationship under normal terms of employment,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.
Työkanava cooperates with TE authorities, and people with impaired capacity to work seek employment at Työkanava only through TE Offices. A person with impaired capacity to work who is interested in working at Työkanava must therefore register as a jobseeker either with the local TE Office or with municipal TE services if the municipality is involved in the local government pilot on employment. After the Act has entered into force, TE authorities will begin to assess the suitability of persons for Työkanava across Finland based on the same criteria defined in the Act.
“We need everyone’s contribution in this country. The new type of operations of Työkanava will in part help solve the problem of labour availability. People with impaired work capacity have a wide range of skills and their educational background is broad and diverse,” Haatainen adds.
“I am also pleased to see that employers’ attitudes towards hiring people who are disabled or chronically ill have turned more positive. The threshold to employ people with impaired work capacity is lower than before. I believe that this trend will continue thanks to the example set by Työkanava,” Haatainen says.
In this year’s second supplementary budget, an initial capital of EUR 10 million will be allocated to the company from the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland and another EUR 10 million in discretionary government grants. A reservation to secure funding for the following years has been made to the decision on central government spending limits, and Parliament will decide on the appropriations in the Budget annually. It is the intention that the sale of services would later generate at least one third of Työkanava’s revenue.
Työkanava can make use of existing services and work together with other intermediate labour market operators. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, which is responsible for the company’s ownership steering, appointed Työkanava a statutory advisory board on 15 June 2022. It may issue recommendations on how the company’s operations can be carried out in a manner that is market-based and maintains competition neutrality.
The establishment of Työkanava is related to the aim of the Government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin to promote the employment of people with impaired capacity to work and to develop the intermediate job market in a new way. Työkanava is one of the measures of the Government’s working capacity programme in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Iiris Niinikoski, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 047 372, [email protected]
Pirjo Larm, Project Manager, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 224 [email protected] (operations of the company)