Ministers Lintilä and Lindström welcome the Government’s decision to invest in employment and entrepreneurship

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 11.4.2018 20.40 | Published in English on 12.4.2018 at 12.23
Press release

The Government will invest in job search support, skills development and the availability of labour, according to the decisions reached in the government session on spending limits on 11 April 2018. The decisions will respond to key challenges in the labour market.

“We want to find better ways to support job search, and that is why we will allocate more resources to the employment offices. We will also increase job seekers’ opportunities to develop their skills while they receive unemployment benefits,” Minister of Employment Jari Lindström emphasises.

“In a growing economy we must make sure that shortage of labour will not become a new bottleneck to business growth. That is why we have introduced new, rapid impact measures to support job seekers in updating their skills and finding a new career,” Minister Mika Lintilä says.

More resources to employment services and amendments to labour legislation

The Government has decided to increase staff resources in the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) by 206 person-years to support job seekers in active job search and provide them better services. A supplementary appropriation of EUR 10.3 million for recruiting more personnel will be included in the 2019 Budget. In 2018, personnel will be recruited using appropriations carried over from the previous years. Employment appropriations will be increased by EUR 11.2 million.

The Government has allocated EUR 24 million to business-driven further and continuing education to address shortage of skilled workforce quickly.

“We will help jobseekers update their skills by allowing them to pursue short-term studies while they receive unemployment benefits. Another important investment is to allocate EUR 24 million to employees’ training and retraining and upgrading of qualifications based on companies’ needs,” Minister Lindström says.

The Government will also prepare amendments to the Employment Contracts Act in order to ease the criteria for terminating employment contracts in enterprises with less than 20 employees. The aim is to make it recruiting more attractive for smaller enterprises.

The Government reached also other employment policy decisions, including:

  • The activation model will be revised by introducing a new option for meeting the activation requirements: employment-promoting services provided by trade unions, trade organisations, non-governmental organisations, municipalities or other corresponding bodies that receive public funding or are otherwise approved by the employment authorities.
  • Unemployed jobseekers aged 25 years or more will be able to pursue short-term studies that strengthen professional competence or support business activities without losing their unemployment benefit. Such studies would be an option for meeting the activation requirements.
  • The employment of young unemployed jobseekers will be promoted. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will prepare an amendment that would allow employers enter a fixed-term contract with young persons under 30 years of age who have been unemployed jobseekers without interruption for at least three months.
  • The employment of persons with vulnerable labour market status will be promoted as part of growth services pilot projects.
  • A new pilot project will be launched to support the return to work of parents on family leave.
  • The Government will examine the needs to amend the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings.
  • The Government will launch a survey to examine the structure of employment and ways to prevent incapacity for work.

Finland to become a leading country in the European battery market

The global demand for batteries will grow more than tenfold in the next five years in response to the increasing use of electric mobility and renewable energy. The Geological Survey of Finland will be granted EUR 1 million to survey Finland’s battery mineral resources and potential to reinforce the domestic battery cluster.

“Finland has the potential to become a leading country in the European battery market. Our companies have a lot of expertise in battery technologies. We can provide a unique combination of raw materials, processing and energy expertise in a reasonably-sized geographical area,” Minister Lintilä says.

The figures may change. The General Government Fiscal Plan will be approved in a government plenary session on Friday 13 April.

Inquiries:
Juha Halttunen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 574 0236
Jukka Ihanus, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 463 9929
Mika Niemelä, Director of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 2135