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. 

TE Office to send employees with impaired work capacity to Työkanava

Työkanava operates in the same way as other companies in the market and does not exercise public authority. The TE Office serves as the authority and directs unemployed people with impaired work capacity to Työkanava in accordance with the company’s needs. One TE Office will be responsible for this task and will select the persons with impaired capacity to work that are the most suitable employees for the customer in question. Municipalities and others involved in employment services can direct those people with impaired capacity to work who are in the most difficult situation to the TE Office to make them available for the company.

The 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 individuals for the work required by customers. 

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 of its employees at the workplaces.

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 its 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.

Provisions on the operations of Työkanava are laid down by law

The Government submitted a proposal on Työkanava Ltd to Parliament on 21 October 2021. The Act was adopted on 16 March 2022 and it will enter into force on 1 July 2022.

Company’s business and strategy under preparation

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment prepares to launch the operations of the state-owned special assignment company Työkanava Ltd on 1 July 2022.

Työkanava’s operations will begin in stages during 2022 after its operative management has been selected and the business activities have started. The aim is to start operations with some customer companies and then expand the operations to more sectors and areas.

A working group appointed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for the period of 20 October 2021-30 April 2022 has planned the company’s business and strategy. The board of directors will decide the final strategy.

The board will be chaired by Under-Secretary of State Elina Pylkkänen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment while chief executive (retired) Jukka Kinnunen 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, Chief Executive Officer, Haltija Group Oy

Työkanava is part of the implementation of the work ability programme

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 work ability programme (in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment).

The establishment of the company is based on a report by Hannu Mäkinen, Director-General of Finnish Customs. Where applicable, the company has been modelled after Sweden’s Samhall, which has operated for a long time.


Business and organisation of Työkanava Ltd: Pirjo Larm, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Steering of jobseekers to Työkanava by TE Offices, ownership steering: Kimmo Ruth, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment