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Työkanava Ltd

A state-owned special assignment company employs people with impaired capacity to work who are in the most difficult position

Työkanava Oy is a special assignment company wholly owned by the Finnish State. Its task is to employ the most disadvantaged people with impaired capacity to work whose employment prospects cannot be markedly enhanced by measures and services to promote employment. 

Työkanava is a company with a new kind of business idea. The company employs the people directly in an employment relationship and sells their work input to its customers. The company’s objective is to improve and support the labour market and other skills of its employees so that they could be employed independently in the open labour market.

In the early stages of its operations, the company is estimated to employ a few hundred people with impaired capacity to work each year. After the operations have been established, the company aims to have approximately 1,000 persons in an employment relationship. 

Provisions on the operations of Työkanava are laid down by law

The Act on Työkanava will entered into force on 1 July 2022. 

Työkanava’s customers include companies, organisations, public sector entities and private consumers in need of labour. Työkanava sells to its customers subcontracted service packages that its employees (people with impaired capacity to work) produce. It is also possible to hire labour for the work required by customers. 

The services produced by the company are priced on market terms. Työkanava’s pricing and market share are monitored by a separate advisory board, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as part of the company’s ownership steering.

Työkanava complements the activities of third-sector service providers or social enterprises that integrate people into work, for example. The company cooperates with them and may also use their services.

Työkanava Oy does not exercise public authority.

Company will be launched in stages

Sari Nikkola has started as the company’s chief executive on 1 September 2022. The company's business activities have been launched in stages operations in stages during 2022. The first employees with partial work ability started in the service of the Työkanava Ltd in January 2023.

Työkanava’s board will be chaired by Under-Secretary of State Elina Pylkkänen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment while Jukka Kinnunen, a retired chief executive, will serve as vice-chair. Other members of the board are:

  • Raimo Antila, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
  • Sirpa Huuskonen, Vice President, Tokmanni
  • Essi Lindberg, Communications Manager, Labore
  • Jukka Lindberg, Development Manager, Vates Foundation
  • Leena Munter, Director of Change Management,  Business Finland

Only TE authorities can send employees to Työkanava

Jobseekers cannot seek work at Työkanava independently and Työkanava does not post notices on open vacancies publicly. Employment at Työkanava always begins through TE authorities. A person with impaired work capacity who wants to work at Työkanava must be registered as an unemployed jobseeker with TE services. The decision on the suitability for Työkanava is always made by the TE authority.

TE authorities at TE Offices and local government pilots on employment will assess the suitability of jobseekers for Työkanava on the basis of criteria laid down in the Act.

Municipalities and other authorities and bodies can direct persons with partial work capacity who are in the most difficult situation to register as unemployed jobseekers with TE services, which will assess their suitability for employment at Työkanava.

Criteria for employment at Työkanava (Section 4 of the Act on Työkanava):

  • Client relationship with TE services
  • Impaired work capacity
  • Option of last resort
  • Jobseeker’s consent and motivation

The TE Office of Ostrobothnia, authorised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, will search for suitable employees for each vacancy in the joint customer information system of TE services. The Ostrobothnia TE Office also assigns a jobseeker to Työkanava when suitable work is available there.  A person with impaired capacity to work deemed suitable for Työkanava may not therefore be employed immediately.

The employee’s remuneration and other terms of employment at Työkanava are determined under employment legislation and the applicable collective agreement. Työkanava is responsible for the guidance and work orientation of its employees at the workplaces.


Path of a person with impaired work capacity to Työkanava

Caption: Path of a person with impaired work capacity to Työkanava.

Työkanava was part of the implementation of the working capacity programme

The establishment of Työkanava was 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 was one of the measures of the Government’s Working capacity programme (in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment).


Steering of jobseekers to Työkanava by TE Offices, ownership steering: Kimmo Ruth, Labour Market Counsellor, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, kimmo.ruth(at) and Marianne Keyriläinen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, [email protected]

Business and organisation of Työkanava Ltd: Sari Nikkola, CEO, [email protected]

Funded by the European Union