Other funding targets under the Sustainable Growth Programme in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and government agencies under its purview
The Sustainable Growth Programme includes investments and reforms that support the European Union’s strategy for sustainable growth and the green and digital transition. The projects and programmes will contribute to the introduction of digital solutions and the exchange of information between the authorities. Investments will be used, for example, to implement technical development projects that will automate data processing or speed up permit processes.
Reforms and investments will strengthen the long-term growth potential and resilience through investments in RDI, green transition and competence in line with the recommendations of the European Semester for economic policy coordination. The employment rate will be raised quicker and public employment services will be reformed. The reforms and investments will mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on identified target groups. The digital service system and structures will be improved. More support will be available for raising the level of competence and education, and existing competencies will be converted to meet the needs of working life.
Other funding targets
Digitalisation and data economy
The Real Time Economy project
- Contents: The Real Time Economy project will create the conditions for companies to move to real-time economy. Business information is transferred automatically between different systems, and invoices and receipts are electronic. Up-to-date information and its automated processing will increase productivity both in companies and public administration.
- Schedule: On 15 June 2021, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment set up the Real Time Economy project for 2021–2024.
- Total funding: EUR 14 million.
- Responsible party: The Finnish Patent and Registration Office coordinates the project.
- Results: The first RRF milestone in the project was reached by the end of 2022. This was to describe a minimum viable ecosystem (MVE) and to implement a number of development measures to increase the use of e-invoices by enterprises and municipalities. The MVE is based on the effectiveness of the e-invoicing system and the e-invoice ecosystem built around it. In collaboration with private operators, the project developed a set of e-invoice indicators used to monitor annual changes in the extent of e-invoicing. The project published an e-invoicing guide for municipalities and implemented an extensive e-invoice campaign geared to enterprises while also providing guidance on how to introduce e-invoicing. The first version of the digital receipt rulebook was also released.
The project promotes the digital transformation of financial administration and procurement by providing broad support for the introduction of structured PEPPOL documents and messages. PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) is a network defining the technical infrastructure and standardised messages as well as agreements and rules for cross-border e-procurement. During 2022, the project involved launching the State Treasury as the Finnish PEPPOL Authority effective as of 1 January 2023. The Real Time Economy project also carried out a cost and impact analysis of procurement messages and digital receipts in 2022. The analysis indicated that the use of procurement messages and digital receipts delivers considerable savings and benefits to organisations. In 2022, a market survey of Peppol procurement software solutions suitable for small enterprises was also conducted.
Further activities under the project in 2022 included conducting preliminary studies relating to legislation, implementing several customer understanding projects and pilots, and conducting studies on topics including consent management and streamlining official reporting on the basis of the once-only principle. Case studies were reviewed and EU-level eIDAS2 cooperation pursued in relation to corporate digital identity and corporate wallet. Finland was also an active participant in the Nordic Smart Government & Business project.
Project Director Minna Rintala (Finnish Patent and Registration Office - PRH) firstname.lastname(a)prh.fi
Fight against money laundering
- Contents: The reform will improve the authorities’ access to information and the automated collection of information in order to prevent money laundering. In addition, the aim is to increase cooperation between the authorities and develop preventative measures. The reform involves legislative amendments with regard to the implementation of several investments. Based on an intermediate target, the projects within the programme will be planned and piloted by 2023. Digital tools will be in use by 2026.
- Schedule: 2021–2026
- Total funding: EUR 10 million.
- Responsible parties: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Ministry of Finance
Employment and labour market
Nordic labour market service model
- Contents: A key premise of the Nordic labour market service model is a comprehensive reform of the jobseeker service process towards a more individualised approach. The aim is to provide strong support at different stages of job search. The reform process requires both legislative amendments and changes to information systems.
- Schedule: The appropriations of TE Offices will be increased by EUR 70 million from 2022 (funding for 2022 will come from the RRF). In addition, the RRF will fund the implementation of key information system changes required by the model by EUR 20 million (EUR 13 million in 2022).
- Total funding: EUR 90 million.
- Responsible party: The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for preparing the reform in stakeholder cooperation.
- Results: The Nordic labour market service model was introduced on 2 May 2022. Human resources at TE Offices have been boosted by nearly 1,200 experts since 2022. The impact of the service model on employment is expected to be fully achieved from the beginning of 2025. The information system specifications and modifications necessitated by the Nordic labour market service model have been made. The new booking and videoconferencing system has been taken into productive use. Before it is phased in, the customer information system to be introduced in 2023 will also be modified to conform with the requirements of the Nordic labour market service model.
Streamlining the work and education-based immigration process – OLEDIGI-project
- Contents: The objective of the project is to create a fast track for the residence permit applications of highly skilled individuals and growth entrepreneurs as well as their family members to pledge processing within 14 days for applications that meet the criteria, and to shorten the processing times of other work-based and education-based residence permit applications to an average of 30 days.
- Schedule: 2021–2024
- Total funding: EUR 20 million
- Responsible parties: The cross-administrative project is steered and coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The main responsibility for implementing the project rests with the Finnish Immigration Service, which is the owner of the key information system UMA. Other parties also responsible for implementation of the project are Business Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
- Results: The fast track for highly skilled individuals and growth entrepreneurs as well as their family members was introduced on 1 June 2022. In December 2022, fast-track eligibility was extended to persons seeking a residence permit on the basis of working in company management. Follow-up indicates that the average fast-track processing time has been well shorter than pledged.
The project involved preparation of the amendments to the Act on the Conditions of Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals on the Basis of Research, Study, Internship and Volunteering (719/2018) that entered into force on 15 April 2022. The information system development required by the amendments has also been completed. Other completed sub-projects are the direct delivery of residence permit cards and the digitalisation of the eligibility statement stage in respect of growth entrepreneurs. The project has clarified customer communications and produced communications materials to support customers in applying for residence permits based on work or education. The project has also provided funding for the development of the Income Register data transfer interface to streamline processing at the extended permit stage.
The sections of the Aliens Act (301/2004) on employment and entrepreneurship were amended and the amended Act entered into force on 23 February 2023. Matters enabled by the amendments include the employer certification procedure. The systems development associated with the changes in legislation is completed in respect of the first stage, which enables application of the Act, and all technical developments will be ready in 2023.
Going forward, the project will involve, among other things, further data transfer upgrades and streamlining at the initial stage of the permit process in particular.
Senior Specialist Essi Lojander (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Strengthening the Ohjaamo services for young people through incentives to municipalities
- Contents: An incentive model for municipalities that will increase the number of social, healthcare and education services experts at the Ohjaamo service points, where young people can seek help and guidance at a low threshold. If a municipality hires a new expert to the Ohjaamo service point, it can apply for a grant to hire another expert. Municipalities that have an Ohjaamo service point can apply for the grant.
- Schedule: The calls for funding opened on 1 September 2021. Funding under the project is available until 31 December 2025.
- Total funding: EUR 6.5 million
- Responsible party: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
- Results: 27 government grant decisions (up to March 2023)
Senior Specialist Jani Lehto (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Increasing employment of people with partial work ability through an intermediate labour market operator
- Contents: Establishment of a business operator for the intermediate labour market whose task will be to promote the access and integration of people with partial work ability in the labour market. The special assignment company Työkanava Oy hires people with partial work ability for longer-term employment relationships and offers their labour to other employers. The aim is that some of the workers will eventually find employment in the open labour market. The investment is part of a broader work ability programme implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
- Schedule: While capital will be allocated to the company in 2022–2023, the company will be incorporated and established in 2022–2025.
- Total funding: EUR 12,5 million
- Responsible party: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
- Results: The Act on a special assignment company by the name of Työkanava Oy entered into force on 1 July 2022 (in Finnish)
State-owned special assignment company (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Työkanava Oy (in Finnish)
Senior Adviser Kimmo Ruth (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Raising the level of skills and continuous learning
Reform of continuous learning
- Contents: The reform of continuous learning will improve the availability and effectiveness of foresight data and create targeted study offerings that are based on the foresight data and relevant to working life. The reform will also increase outreach activities, support measures and provision of low-threshold educational opportunities for groups that are under-represented in education. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for enhancing foresight on short-term labour and competence needs, strengthening lifelong guidance, and developing practices for competence recognition in respect of people of working age. The project involves updating the Occupational Barometer, enhancing quality, coordination and knowledge-based management in lifelong guidance, and developing practices and tools for demonstrating the competences of people of working age. The aim of the measures is to stem the flow of people into unemployment and inactivity and to improve employment and the availability of competent workers. The reform of continuous learning will support the growth potential and renewal of working life, companies and society as well as the vitality of regions. The bodies taking part in the implementation of the measures are the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Development and Administrative Centre for the ELY Centres and TE Offices (KEHA Centre), the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment and the Finnish National Agency for Education.
- Schedule: Reform of continuous learning will be implemented in 2021–2024
- Total funding: EUR 44 million
- Responsible parties: The reform will be implemented in cooperation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Results: The updating of the Occupational Barometer has been launched under the project on foresight on short-term labour and competence needs. In the package of strengthening lifelong learning guidance, the KEHA Centre has launched development on a framework for career planning skills. The guidance competence package is also underway and at the stage of analysing counsellor competence descriptions and overall structure of counsellor training. The procurement of continuing training for counsellors is underway. The package for which the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible is progressing to plan and the status assessment of lifelong guidance will be started in spring 2023.
The working group on competence recognition issued its interim report in December 2022. The package is progressing to plan so that the pilots and the analyses proposed by the working group in its interim report will start in spring 2023.
Senior Adviser Teija Felt (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Project component ‘Digital services package for continuous learning’ under the continuous learning digitalisation programme
- Contents: The digitalisation programme for continuous learning consists of two mutually supportive projects: a digital service package for continuous learning that covers the entire education system and crosses administrative boundaries as well as a package of digitalisation and flexible learning in higher education. The aim of the project component of digital services for continuous learning is to build services to support educational and career choices as well as the maintenance and enhancement of skills throughout working careers and lives, and to promote matches between the supply and demand of employment and education. The services now being built will also support the work of providers of guidance services in seeking education and in job-seeking by means including expansion of the knowledge base available to counsellors and the provision of new, smart services as well as making high-quality guidance tools easier to find. In addition, the information services provided will support strategic planning on the part of the various actors (including ones in education and in working life). The continuous learning digital services package is rooted in a new kind of intersectoral culture that enables better and more efficient services/service paths.
- Schedule: The digitalisation programme will be built in stages during 2021–2025.
- Total funding: Continuous learning digital services package EUR 22 million (Digitalisation programme for continuous learning EUR 32 million).
- Responsible parties: The continuous learning digital services package will be implemented jointly by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Results: Target architecture report and target group-specific service concepts prepared. Expansion of educational offering service started (completed in December 2023). Analysis pilots relating to employment and education opportunities launched. Competition impact assessment prepared on market-driven educational offering.
Chief Specialist Tiina Salminen (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Sectors affected by the COVID crisis
Sustainable growth and digitalisation in the tourism sector
- Contents: The investment aims to develop tourism companies and regions in Finland by promoting the sustainability of activities and the monitoring and assessment of tourism development as well as the sales of tourism services, particularly in the digital operating environment. The investment will create concrete tools for calculating the carbon footprint of tourism services and for knowledge-based management in tourism companies and regions. In addition, coaching programmes will be created to support the renewal and growth of the sector.
- Schedule: 2021–2024
- Total funding: EUR 10.75 million
- Responsible party: The Visit Finland unit of Business Finland
- Results: A set of national sustainable tourism indicators and the travel sector CO2 calculator to determine carbon footprint were introduced in 2022. Both tools are undergoing further development. The first annual sustainable tourism status report, based on the indicator data, will be published in April 2023. In 2022, the DataHub digital database for tourism products and services launched by Visit Finland in 2021 already features over 5,000 products, and more than 15 channels publish information via its interface. The programme for using digital channels to boost tourism, running from 2023 to 2024, supports regional tourism organisations and destinations as well as tourism businesses in achieving international growth by providing instruction on how to leverage digital sales and distribution channels. Field work has started on the Matkailijamittari indicator of tourist spending and tourist travel behaviour and the first results may be expected in early summer 2023. A tourist segmentation study was carried out in spring 2023 and its results will be made available also for the purposes of coaching by the Visit Finland Academy.
National sustainable travel indicators (in Finnish)
Matkailijamittari (in Finnish)
Chief Specialist Sanna Kyyrä (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Senior Director Kristiina Hietasaari (Visit Finland) firstname.lastname(a)businessfinland.fi