In this municipal-level experiment, the local authorities are in charge of providing employment services (‘TE services’) to certain selected target groups. The clients include the unemployed people and job seekers within employment services who are not entitled to earnings-adjusted daily allowance. The clients also include all job seekers under the age of 30 as well as immigrants and foreign-language speakers who are either unemployed or receive unemployment services.
Employment Espoo has 18,000 job seekers from Espoo as its clients. Of them,
- 5,000 are under 30 years of age
- 9,000 speak something other than Finnish or Swedish as their native language
- nearly 5,000 hold a higher education degree
- nearly 7,000 hold a vocational degree
- 4,000 have a comprehensive school level educational background.
Looking for a job has become more complicated during the coronavirus pandemic and takes longer
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting the employment statistics of both Espoo and the entire country. According to the January 2021 statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
- the proportion of unemployed residents of the Espoo labour force is 11.5% (last year: 7.6%)
- 5,289 are long-term unemployed (last year: 3,453)
- the number of unemployed people was 16,870 (last year: 11,092)
- 1,580 of the unemployed were 15–24 years of age (last year: 915)
- the proportion of unemployed foreigners of the foreign labour force is 24% (last year: 17.5%).
The causes for unemployment are becoming more complex, and being furloughed threatens to turn into unemployment. Recently graduated young people have difficulties finding their first job. Foreign-language speakers may not have the contacts or language skills needed for finding employment. People with higher education degrees also have difficulties with finding work. The journey to finding work is even more difficult for the long-term unemployed now that there is harsh competition for jobs. At the same time, the employers in Espoo, including the City of Espoo, are suffering from a shortage of competent labour.
“The municipal employment experiment is being launched in the nick of time, so to speak. The vitality of Espoo is strongly dependent on our residents finding employment and our companies finding employees that meet their needs,” says the Director for Business and Economic Development, Tuula Antola.
Espoo challenges the entire city to work together to overcome employment challenges
The service model of the municipal employment experiment, Employment Espoo, coordinates the competence and labour force needs of Espoo-based companies, the employment and educational requirements of Espoo residents and the local educational services. This model is strongly based on network cooperation. Through the Business Espoo company service network, companies are provided with a wide range of services for establishing and developing a business, internationalisation and recruitment.
“Our business service team reviews company needs and offers comprehensive help for recruitment. We are here for the employers, no matter their recruitment needs,” says the City of Espoo’s Business Services Manager, Johanna Larsson.
The City of Espoo is looking for job opportunities in its own sectors and customises suitable study paths for them together with educational institutes such as Omnia and Metropolia. The service model also includes educational organisations, service providers, associations and project operators.
“We guide our clients to the right services through our partner network. We provide them with more individual and customer-driven solutions,” says the Head of Employment Services, Hilla-Maaria Sipilä.
“The system yields, not the client”
The clients are appointed a personal coach to support them in finding employment. The personal coach will review the job seeker’s situation and guide them comprehensively forward towards employment or education. The client’s situation is reviewed comprehensively, and it may take more than employment services to gain them access to working life or studies.
“Through the same contact person and under one roof, the clients of Employment Espoo will gain access to not only employment services, but also to the City’s healthcare and social services and educational or entrepreneurship services. The system yields here, not the client,” Sipilä says.
The clients will be informed of being transferred as the clients of Employment Espoo municipal experiment with a letter or by an electronic message. The first clients have now been transferred, and more will be transferred in March. The transfer will happen automatically, and no actions are required from the clients.
The personal coach of Employment Espoo will contact new clients over the spring. The clients are asked to wait patiently for this contact from their personal coach.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the customer service points of Employment Espoo are mostly closed. Services are available online, also one-on-one. Job seeker services are available through the My services portal. The telephone services of Employment Espoo are available on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm at the number 09 8169 4000, and e-mail services are also available: firstname.lastname@example.org. The clients will also have access to the extensive national phone services of the Employment Office.