Finland to apply for support from the EU due to mass redundancies

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 17.2.2016 12.35
Press release

Finland is applying for EU funding to implement support measures for staff that have been let go from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy will now begin preparation of an application to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The application is to be ready for submission by summer.

"On the basis of talks we have had with the European Commission, we are hopeful that our application will be processed through to decision-making in EU bodies. If realised, this application would be the first public sector project in the fund's ten year history," states Director-General Tuija Oivo from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Processing of the application in the EU will take approximately 6 months. The University of Helsinki has announced that it will reduce its staff by 980 people, 570 of whom will be dismissed. Aalto University has announced that it will reduce its staff by 320 people, 190 of whom will be dismissed.

Service selection planning to begin

National change security measures were initiated immediately at the start of co-determination talks at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. EGF funding would facilitate the more diverse expansion and tailoring of services.

"We will now meet quickly with university representatives to plan the available service selection together with which EGF funding would benefit as many of the people now losing their jobs as possible. Services can include further education, support of entrepreneurship and individual guidance," states Senior Adviser Antto Korhonen from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Several ongoing EGF projects in Finland

Other EGF projects are also currently underway in Finland due to extensive redundancies in the past few years at STX Finland, Broadcom, in the software industry in general, and at Microsoft.

The EU provides 60 per cent of funding for EGF support, while each country is responsible for providing 40 per cent. In cases of major structural changes, support is granted from the fund for active employment policy measures, such as different forms of training, education, promotion of mobility, pay subsidies and start-up grants. Further information about the fund is available at www.egr.fi

Further Information:
Antto Korhonen, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 29 504 7034