The labor markets have changed European wide so that young people are often available only in part-time jobs or short-term jobs if at all. A big problem is also how to get a job without working experience. You have to have high quality degree and at the same time a lot of working experience. Usually this is not possible and the risk of social exclusion of youth increases.
To prevent social exclusion of youth and unemployment European Union implemented a tool for that called Youth Guarantee. The Youth Guarantee ensures that every young people under 25 years and every newly graduated young people under 30 years will be offered a job, trial workplace, study and workshop or rehabilitation place during the next three months. The goal of the Youth Guarantee is not only to prevent social exclusion of youth but also to open new doors to the labor markets and offer work experience. EU countries endorsed the principle of the Youth Guarantee in April 2013.
Youth Guarantee examples in Finland
The implementation of Youth Guarantee in Finland is high quality. Cross-sectoral cooperation between different actors has created several ways to employ young people.
In Finland, after graduating or after an employee a person has to register as a job seeker in Finnish employment office, TE-office. In cooperation with unemployed or newly graduated TE-office write out a plan how the job search and possible further education is going to be arranged. Because of the Youth Guarantee TE-office is obligated to offer to young people a job, education, work trials, job training, start-up grants and advice to start their own business, wage-subsidized jobs, career advice service and career planning service. TE-office will send for all unemployed information about vacancies. TE-office take into consideration each job seekers previous education and working experience individually and send information about the most appropriate vacancies. Job seekers are obligated to apply for a job they got information about.
Municipalities implement the Youth Guarantee
Implementation of the Youth Guarantee is a part of every municipality’s daily work. Municipal employees meet and help young people in their everyday life in schools, educational institutions, health centers, libraries and youth centers. There are around 1000 youth centers and clubs in Finnish municipalities that are free for everybody.
Outreach youth work
Outreach youth work is done already in 320 Finnish municipalities. Each municipality has an own outreach youth worker. The Outreach youth worker is a contact person to whom young people can contact to. The Outreach youth worker help young people only if they contact to themselves. This work supports the young people who don’t have place to study, job or any plans for their future. The main goal of the Outreach youth work is to offer to young people the best possible change to find offered services that help them to continue and find some reasonable plan in their lives. According to Finnish Youth Guarantee website in 2014 the Outreach youth work contacted over 20 000 young people. The young people that were reached were mostly aged between 16 and 20.
In Youth workshops young people can take part into guided and supportive working and get familiar with different profession and Working Life. Youth workshops are directed especially to all under 29 years with lower possibilities who need help with the everyday management. In cooperation with tutors young people make own plan and create a contents for workshop. There young people are also given information about the most suitable way to get educated and how to strengthen their life skills. There is already 270 Youth workshops around the country. These workshops are very important way to implement Youth Guarantee because according to Finnish Youth Guarantee website more than 80 per cent of participants have found a new way for their lives after Youth Workshop period.
Wage subsidy and Sanssi-card
The main part of the Youth Guarantee is wage subsidy which is offered to employees if they hire young people to open vacancies. Employers can receive EUR 700 per month in 10 months period. The main idea of this wage subsidy is to compensate young person’s lack of working experience and efficiency compared to professional. Young people under 30 years will receive a card called as Sanssi-card as a proof of this possibility of wage subsidy which can be shown when they apply open vacancies and help them to get a job.
In Finland, it is possible to perform Qualification in job. This combination of practice and theoretical studies is called Apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship training means that young person is an employee and a student at the same time and he or she is having needed training in his or her job. Theoretical parts are executed in cooperation with some educational institution depending on chosen métier. Apprenticeship training is an excellent choice to get profession because young person will get a lot of tacit knowledge when working with professionals and also very tangible workmanship. Employer is obligated to name a tutor who will help young person during his or her whole studies. Duration of Apprenticeship training is usually 3 years. Employees are entitled to have financial support during the whole period. According to the Finnish Youth Guarantee website the amount of compensation is EUR 800 per month for the first year, EUR 500 for the second and EUR 300 for the third. Professional competence is stated with practical exams in the end of the 3 years period.
Päivi Hartikainen, EVS volunteer, Youth association Alfa Albona