Working capacity programme ends but measures to promote employment of people with partial work capacity will continue
During 2019–2023, the Government’s working capacity programme sought solutions to the employment problems of people with impaired capacity to work. At the same time, the programme developed more effective services to support working capacity. The closing event of the programme on 15 February examined the employment of people with impaired work capacity from the perspective of social sustainability, inclusion and the service system.
“People with partial work capacity should have an opportunity to work and contribute to society to the best of their ability. There are currently about 65,000 people with impaired working capacity outside the labour force who would like to work and could work. At the same time, many employers suffer from labour shortage: there is a poor match between jobs and jobseekers. People with partial work capacity must be seen as part of the solution to the problem,” said Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen in her opening address of the event.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has been responsible for implementing the working capacity programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The measures of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment have focused on removing barriers to the employment of persons with partial work capacity and on boosting employment. Meanwhile, the measures of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have developed services that support work ability and functional capacity and promote employment.
“Proportionate services to support work ability and functional capacity will increase people’s wellbeing and boost employment,” said Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen.
An external evaluation of the working capacity programme will be completed at the end of April. The results of the programme presented at the closing event were therefore only preliminary.
“Although the Government’s working capacity programme is about to end, determined efforts to promote the employment of people with impaired capacity to work should continue during the next government terms,” Haatainen added.
Measures of the administrative branches support one another
The 22 pilot projects in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health developed new effective support models, such as multi-professional teams supporting work ability that operate in the health and social services centres of the wellbeing services counties. At the same time, the use of supported employment methods for those who are struggling the most with finding employment has increased. The competence of experts has been strengthened so that they are familiar with the services supporting working capacity and know how to use it for the benefit of clients. In addition, eight universities of applied sciences across Finland offer training as working capacity coordinator. An evaluation and follow-up study has also been used to assess the effectiveness of the measures. The study has produced information for coordinating the services and benefits of unemployed people with partial work capacity and supporting the development of legislation.
“All people of working age must have equal access to high-quality services that support working capacity. For this, we need to coordinate health and social services, focus on the early identification of multi-sectoral service needs and improve professional competence in supporting working capacity,” Sarkkinen said.
The administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has set up a state-owned special assignment company, Työkanava Ltd, to employ people with impaired working capacity who are in the most difficult position. As part of the working capacity programme, the Ministry has also launched a Centre of Expertise for Social Enterprises. Its task is to provide national advice and guidance to strengthen the operating conditions for social enterprises and to increase the employment of people with partial work capacity. The programme to boost employment through procurement has built a network, developed an operating model, provided advice and raised awareness of the requirement to provide employment of the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts. Increasing the use of this requirement will make it easier for people in a difficult labour market position to find work.
TE Offices have also recruited more working capacity coordinators to identify the service needs of persons with partial work capacity and to better respond to them. People with partial work capacity benefit from personal long-term support, such as practical work training. At the same time, TE service experts are cooperating more closely with employers and companies to offer clients more tailored solutions. In addition to pay subsidy, the use of the support for workplace arrangements has increased.
The working capacity programme is part of the employment measures of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government. The basic idea of the working capacity programme is that people with partial work capacity also have the opportunity to work and contribute to society to the best of their ability.
Emily Strohm, Special Adviser to Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 367 0263 [email protected]
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to Minister of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 410 [email protected]
Kimmo Ruth, Labour Market Counsellor, tel. +358 295 048 073 [email protected] (Working capacity programme measures in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Niina Kovanen, Senior Specialist, Project Manager, tel. +358 295 163 726 [email protected] (Working capacity programme measures in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)
Working capacity programme (tem.fi)
Working capacity programme in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (stm.fi)
Government’s employment measures (tem.fi)
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