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Nearly 90 per cent of the employees laid off from Microsoft have new careers – a number of new technology companies has also emerged

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
11.5.2018 8.31 | Published in English on 11.5.2018 at 12.40
Press release

Successful projects, collaboration and support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) have resulted in good outplacement outcomes for people who were laid off from Microsoft.

There were five tools for rapid re-employment or for finding new career paths: outplacement services (Employment and Economic Development Offices), digitalisation of existing companies (Digiboost by Tekes), investment attraction efforts (Invest in Finland), and support for starting a business and skills maintenance and development (Polku programme and EGF).

“We have succeeded well in the goal of rapid re-employment. Although we started from an extremely difficult situation, we have received a lot of positive news as experienced professionals have generated new IT companies in Finland and at the same time speeded up the progress of digitalisation,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Polku supported entrepreneurs

Microsoft founded the Polku change transformation programme in 2015 to help those who were laid off find a new job or become entrepreneurs. Participation in the programme was voluntary, and it was open for participants for nine months after the expiry of their work obligation. Altogether 205 companies received support, and 11 per cent of the participants started their own business. The Change Training events organised by Microsoft and Employment and Economic Development Offices were attended by 55 per cent of the people who were laid off.

“We are pleased that so many of our former colleagues have found new work through Polku. The programme has been commended both by participants and by external actors,” says Rilla Hiillos, Manager of the Microsoft’s Polku programme.

Over 80 per cent of participants succeeded thanks to support from EGF

The outplacement services received funding from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). Finland has been very active in deploying EGF, and ten projects already have received support from it.

By August 2017, over 80 per cent of EGF beneficiaries were re-employed or in training. The Digiboost programme aimed to promote the re-employment of digital specialists and support the digitalisation of existing companies.

“Microsoft bore its corporate social responsibility well in the situation. Microsoft-funded measures and EGF-funded measures have been complementary. Collaboration has been smooth in every direction,” says Minister of Employment Jari Lindström.

In summer 2015, Microsoft announced a major shift in its device strategy and the following year the closing down of Microsoft Mobile. More than 3,000 people were laid off. Tampere, Espoo and Salo were hardest hit, but the whole country was indirectly affected. The aim of the Finnish Government and Microsoft was that the people laid off would find new work as soon as possible.

Read more

Change support – An evaluation study of the performance and effectiveness of EGF activities (in Finnish)

Jannika Ranta, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 340 2250
Juha Halttunen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 574 0236
Rilla Hiillos, Manager for the Polku Programme, Microsoft, tel. +358 400 502 765
Johanna Osenius, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4937

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