Lifelong guidance

Lifelong guidance refers to information, guidance and counselling services that help people of all ages to identify their skills and interests and to think about the development of their skills and opportunities in working life. These services provide support to people in making plans and decisions related to their education, career, leisure time and livelihood and help them set goals.

Guidance can help people to acquire skills necessary for employment, to ease transitions to new careers and to build suitable and meaningful educational and career paths. Besides bringing direct economic benefits, guidance can help make skilled labour more readily available, match labour demand and supply, offer a better world of work and enable business and society to regenerate.

In Finland, lifelong guidance services are provided by the public, private and third sectors. For example, schools, educational institutions, employment services, the Ohjaamo centres for young people and guidance and counselling services for immigrants are important service providers for both young people and adults. Organisations and trade unions offer advice and guidance to their members too.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment coordinates and develops lifelong guidance in Finland together with other operators. Through coordination and cooperation, the Ministry maintains an overall picture of the availability, quality and development needs of guidance, directs funding and activities, and shares good practices and results of development work. This improves the effectiveness of guidance.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is in charge of organising employment services until their transfer to municipalities at the beginning of 2025. Even after the reform, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will be responsible for ensuring that the employment service system functions well at the national level. This includes steering the service system and assessing the system’s effectiveness as a whole together with the municipalities.

Lifelong Guidance Forum and Strategy

At the national level, the Lifelong Guidance Forum, appointed in 2020 and chaired by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture, coordinates and develops lifelong guidance. The education, working life and youth sectors are broadly represented in the Forum, together with experts in social services.

The Forum has formulated a strategy for lifelong guidance for 2020–2028. The National Strategy for Lifelong Guidance aims to improve people’s ability to make educational and career decisions and to ensure that they receive the necessary support through multi-channel information, advice and guidance services. The Strategy presents objectives for the overall development of guidance and recommendations for measures. The Forum regularly monitors the implementation of the strategy.

ELY Centres develop lifelong guidance in regions

The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) are responsible for regional development of lifelong guidance. The ELY Centres coordinate broad-based regional cooperation groups on lifelong guidance, which promote the availability and quality of guidance services through network cooperation.

Teea Oja, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 161, [email protected]