Press release 14.09.04
Encouraging entrepreneurship, extending start-up grants, enhancing possibilities for young people, investing in know-how and reforming employment services are measures by which the labour administration will contribute to reducing unemployment and increasing growth in employment in 2005. Many projects included in the Government employment programme will continue in different administrative sectors next year. These include a reform aimed at activating unemployed persons drawing labour market support.
The Government proposes that 2,164 million euro be reserved for the labour administration in the state budget for the year 2005. 20 million euro will be transferred from the framework of the labour administration to the self-administration experiment of Kainuu.
Reducing structural unemployment and securing the availability of skilled labour are among the most important targets of the Ministry of Labour. The number of activation measures taken by the labour administration and based on labour policy will remain at the same level as this year.
The labour force service centres have started off well, activities will proceed in 2005
The structural reform of the public employment service under the Government employment programme will be continued in 2005. The public employment services for persons most difficult to employ and the services of municipalities, especially social and health care services, as well as the services of the Social Insurance Institution and of other service producers will be gathered to the labour force service centres. Thus, it will be possible to serve the customers through one-stop shops by means of multi-occupational cooperation. So far, 29 service centres have been established in different parts of the country. Further expansion of the network will take place in 2005.
In regions where labour force service centres will be established, employment exchange and job-seeking services for the employment offices will be developed. Thus, the availability of skilled labour will be ensured.
About 1,775 million euro will be proposed for the implementation of labour policy. Next year labour market training will involve an average of 26,100 people, while an average of 31,950 people, including those employed by combined subsidy, will be employed by wage-related employment subsidies. These figures do not include those educated and employed by the appropriations for the self-administration experiment of Kainuu.
In labour policy, increasing investments will be made in entrepreneurship and self-employment by means of counselling, training, experts services and the reformed start-up grants. The use of start-up grants also for other persons than the unemployed will be extended, and the grounds for granting them will be revised. Entrepreneurial training relating to start-up grants will be increased.
During next year, employment services will be developed so that young people will have an opportunity of getting training, traineeship or working places after an unemployment spell of three months at the latest. The objective is to enhance employment among young persons.
An amount of 222.6 million euro is proposed for the implementation of the programmes of the European Structural Funds. The number of people covered by the programmes of the European Social Fund (ESF) is estimated at an average of 6,000.
In all, the average number of people covered by active programmes intended mainly for unemployed jobseekers is estimated at 87,350, which is about 33 per cent proportioned to the estimated number of unemployed persons.
Training through joint purchase will be increased
In labour policy, measures increasing the competence of the labour are emphasized. For those attending work, a greater volume of on-the-job training will be arranged as joint purchases between the labour authorities and the employers. This kind of training will be focused especially on small and medium-sized enterprises. The objective is to prevent unemployment among ageing persons and persons with little basic education, and to back up working careers in enterprises in flux. The sufficient educational level of immigrants and the quality of their education will be secured for instance by testing the level of their language proficiency.
The skill of those who are most difficult to employ will be enhanced by including training in subsidized employment. Application to occupational training and coping with the training will be supported through activating measures, preparatory training and personal guidance. The use of labour market support as an activating form of subsidy will be increased. A new model of it will be prepared under the guidance of the Ministry of Labour.
The estimate of possibilities of rehabilitating long-term unemployed and their retirement will be continued in all employment offices. During 2005, about 6,000 surveys will be made on the jobseekers fitness for work. Those who have permanently lost their working capacity will be guided to relevant subsidy systems, such as disability pension.
For additional information:
Director of Finance Jukka Lumenko (09) 160 48941
Senior Planning Officer Timo Määttänen (09) 160 48950
Senior Planning officer Raija Saastamoinen (09) 160 48942
The Governments budget proposal for 2005 is available under the address www.vm.fi/budjetti (information in Finnish only)