Description

Timespan

2008-12/2014

Stage
No longer operational

The door to learning was a European Social Fund project, which meant that it has a planned starting and ending point from the beginning. The projects connected different educational institutes and created plenty of material to support the guidance and information services. The rationale was that the created model would go on without formal structures i.e. the educational adviser could help the student to make choices, taking account all the available education. It is a recognised risk that the model would depend on the people who participated on the project and it won't be functional if the people change.

Foundations

Policy area

Door to Learning's target was to help the adult population to make better educational decisions.

Policy goal

The goal was to develop educational counselling and professional guidance services so that they meet the needs of all working-age adults and improve the availability of skilled workforces in the different regions of Finland. The instrument offers information, guidance and counselling services to those who: (1) are looking for information on educational possibilities and jobs; (2) wish to improve their professional knowledge; (3) wish to change professions or move to a new job; or (4) wish to improve the professional skills of their workplace or community.

Mismatch
Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

There is a wide program to develop life-long learning and related guidance. Door to Learning is a part of that.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Ministry of Education and Culture

Stakeholders

The network of educational institutes at different levels, mainly vocational colleges, adult education centres and universities of applied sciences. They are responsible for counselling and guidance services. The network included also other officials.
At the regional level, The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment were responsible for funding.

Funding

In the project phase there was project funding from ESF and ministries. Since then, it was expected that the network created and service model would keep working with normal budget funding of the participating educational institutions. Each of them have some resources for information, guidance and counselling services.
The total funding was around €25 million for the years 2008 - 2013. The source of funding was public: including ministries, Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the ESF programme. Participating educational institutes also contributed to some parts of it. The breakdown is not available because the project is an umbrella/coordination project comprised of more than 50 regional or side projects.

Intended beneficiaries

Adults in working age. They are expected to benefit from guidance and support when they are making choices to (re-)educate themselves. Better guidance is expected to lead to better educational decisions.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

LMSI is used widely as background material for both counsellors and students so that they can take employability into account while making educational decisions. In principal, the Door to Learning project was aimed especially at those adult students who were not customers of employment services. The guidance is targeted to make better decisions based on the individual life situation. For that reason, the employability is only one variable.

Financial schemes

The project was based on European Social Fund - funding and national funding. The project was an umbrella project bringing together many regional projects, and there may have been some regional funding as well. The services are free for the beneficiaries. The project could be seen as on-the-job training for the counsellors.

Frequency of updates

LMSI outcomes are a part of the background material used to develop the model for new services. There was a need to match services with needs of the labour market. According to the evaluation report the connection could have been stronger.

Development

The project consisted of several sub-projects aiming to develop working model information, guidance and counselling services. For that reason, there have been several adjustments and learning from others through the projects.

Barriers

The evaluation report shows that one of the main barriers were the organisational changes in the educational institutions and employment offices - networking was challenging when there were changes in personnel. It was also difficult to develop new services during other organisational changes. It seems that there are constant organisational changes especially in educational institutions.

Success factors

Bringing together the available resources of the educational institutions that participated in the projects.

Monitoring

There is no regular on-going monitoring of the Door to Learning project. Only a final evaluation report is available. The evaluation is mainly qualitative with some Likert-scale statements from the survey. There are also data about how many people/companies have participated in the project.

Innovativeness
Very innovative

The innovativeness is based on bringing together several sources of information, guidance and counselling through the networking of the different actors, especially educational institutions. Besides that, the project created vast amounts of material for different kinds of guidance situations or customers (people with learning difficulties, immigrants etc).

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The main outcomes achieved are the regional networks between educational institutions and their personnel. The networks provide information, guidance and counselling. One of the main outcomes of the project is the created networking model. The beneficiaries can be found at two levels: (1) personnel working in information, guidance and counselling services get new tools and resources for their work; (2) the final beneficiaries are students or people searching for learning possibilities, and who get improved services for that purpose. According to the evaluation report, both these groups have benefited from the project. Completely unexpected costs were not reported. The challenge is that after the project ended in 2014, the model was intended to keep running by educational institutions that participated to the model. Due to budget cuts, there have been problems to find funding for the information, guidance and counselling services. That has lead to some problems - when new employees enter the organisation they don´t know the network and there are no available resources for keeping up the connections with the whole network.

Engagement of stakeholders

After the project phase, there is no guarantee that the engagement will last. Some of the actors have made contracts to continue the cooperation, but there is still a risk that the service model will not endure.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

The project idea and structure can be transferred. The possibilities to provide information, guidance and counselling services depend on the context. It requires co-ordination and collaboration of many elements, in order to end up with similar kind of impact.

Sustainability

There is a risk that without targeted funding the model will not continue, at least not at the level created during the project phase.

Description

Timespan

From 2009 to 2016

Stage
No longer operational

The initial project has ended, but the job banks continue to operate, with possible changes to the concept. The job bank trial was focused to renew the concept of social enterprise, and the rationale was that job banks would go on as profitable companies on their own after the trial. The project was based on extra funding that is no longer available.

Foundations

Policy area

It was a strategy for Social and Health Policy and on the National Development Programme for Social Welfare and Health Care.

Policy goal

The Job Bank Trial aims to find employment for persons at a potential disadvantage in the labour market, such as partially disabled persons, youth without education and the long-term unemployed.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

The emphasis is on those who have problems with labour market integration. This may be due to a lack of skills, but also to other limitations.

Aim of policy instrument

Find employment for persons at a potential disadvantage in the labour market.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Stakeholders

Omnia (Vocational College) - coordinator of the project.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment funds the project and is officially responsible.
All of the job banks (at least 13 exist) are independent companies.

Funding

The funding is national and is project based. When the model was running, there was project funding from two ministries, but after the project phase, the funding is based on existing labour market subsidies. That means that Job Banks are paid subsidies according to their success to find employment for long-term unemployed people.
From 2012 - 2015, the Ministry funding has been €8.2 million in total. In that phase, the project was expanded country-wide from the piloting phase 2009 - 2012. After the project phase, the idea is that the Job Bank could keep on going with their own business model and revenues.

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiaries are those who have difficulties in finding employment. Those can be partly disabled people, long-term unemployed or young people without education. Job Banks serve also other unemployed, but they are not the core beneficiaries. The expected benefits are that people get employed. The Job Banks also develop skills and educate the unemployed.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The use of LMSI is limited. The core of the instrument is to help those with problems getting employment in the open market, for instance using financial incentives and subsidies. The project itself conducted some market research to support the operations. The insight is mainly based on the Job Bank companies own insight on the labour markets issues.

Financial schemes

The revenues are partly based on different wage subsidies and other similar public funding. During the project the Job Banks were paid bonuses based on the performance. These bonuses are no longer paid.

Development

The project phase has been a learning process and the model and rules have been adjusted modestly. The main concern is that due to being subsidised, Job Banks, like other social enterprises, may compete with advantageously low prices. There have been a need to review the different subsidising instruments to make sure that the companies are not competing with "normal" companies by selling their products under the market price. The other learning challenge was to find the right level for the employment subsidy.

Barriers

The major barrier was to communicate the model for the target group. For that reason Job Banks failed to have as many targeted job-seekers as they intended to. The other barrier was the availability of the wage subsidies necessary for the model. Due to the high rate of unemployment in general, funding was inadequate whilst the project was operating.

Success factors

The close collaboration between other actors taking care of unemployment, like municipalities and employment officials. The ministry was flexible allowing adjustments in the project.

Monitoring

The main indicator to be followed are number of people employed through the Job Bank trial. Another indicator is that how the career of the employed person is developed after they have worked in the Job Bank. Those indicators are not regularly monitored, especially now, when the Job Banks are operating on their own and the project has ended.

Innovativeness
Very innovative

The policy brings together private and public resources. The core idea is that companies that are renting staff have good connections and are in a good position to find at least short-term jobs for people having difficulties to find a job in the open market. Those companies are backed with financial incentives, including wage subsidies (available to other employers as well) and bonuses (targeted only to the Job Banks). Another innovative factor is that Job Bank educate people when there are few short-term jobs available. This improves their employability in the open job market.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The Research Institute of Finnish Economy has evaluated the model. They found evidence that working for the Job Bank improved the labour market prospects for that individual, indicating that the model has worked. By the beginning of 2016, almost 10,000 people had become employed through the Job Bank. The beneficiaries have been the expected ones, mainly for the long-term unemployed. The expected number of employed persons was not achieved and it was difficult to find employment for partially disabled people. An unexpected difficulty was that fewer than expected long-term unemployed people were interested in the trial. For that reason it took more advertising and marketing costs than expected. This was the case especially for those municipalities and Job Banks that had a contract for employing long-term unemployed.

Engagement of stakeholders

For success, sufficient wage subsidies are required to make Job Banks competitive in the staff rental markets. The Job Banks may be entirely social enterprises or companies seeking profit, but they need to cover their costs.

Transferability
Not transferable

The core of the model is to use social enterprises in a more efficient way, as a channel for people with difficulties to find jobs. In other European countries where there are social enterprises, it will be most feasible to introduce such a model.

Sustainability

The instrument is likely to continue in some form into the future.

Description

Timespan

May 2017 - present

Stage
Pilot

Foundations

Policy area

Labour Market Square is a new platform for making it easier for employers and job seekers to find each other.

Policy goal

The policy goal is to make it faster and easier to match job seekers to open jobs and increase productivity of employment services. It should also help educational institutions to plan their curriculum better to meet the needs of the labour market. Employment services have the role of matching unemployed people to open vacancies. The rationale is to use digital tools to increase the effectiveness, so that each job seeker gets improved job offers that better match their qualifications. A common problem has been that: unemployed people are frequently sent job offers that don't match their qualifications; and employers complain that reading application from unqualified persons is waste of their time. The Labour Market Square may (it has not yet been decided) have a control function to track if the unemployed are making genuine applications.

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

The employment services are working widely to match unemployed persons to open jobs. Overcoming mismatch problems is part of those efforts.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Stakeholders

Stakeholders include private companies, labour market organisations and educational institutions. Private companies may use the platform to seek employees and advertise their open vacancies. Educational institute receive insight into the labour demand and can market their products. Different labour market organizations get real time information on the trends. The project is the governments spearhead project and is funded by government. The responsible ministry is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, which will also evaluate the outcomes in the future. The Finnish employment services is going through a reform and in the future, regional authorities will be more responsible for employment services, but so far it is not fully clear how the administration of Labour Market Square will be organized.

Funding

The total budget for digitalisation of employment services was €10 million in 2016 and €10 million in 2017. This budget includes other ICT-projects, so Labour Market Square takes only a fraction of that funding. In the future, the funding will come from employment services' general budget, but no details are yet available.

Intended beneficiaries

All the job seekers. The job seeker may be unemployed, a student looking for an internship or an employed person willing to change the job.
Employers benefit from the digital platform, which helps estimate how well someone's skills fit the open positions. That makes the process faster and easier to manage.
The educational institutions get insight into the needs of the labour markets.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The system itself collects insights into current labour market trends and required skills. So far it is has not been decided how this LMSI will be utilised. The explicit goal of the project is to provide better information for all actors, job seekers, companies, educational institutes etc.

Financial schemes

The labour market square is funded by government funding. The idea is that the matchmaking is free for both the job seekers and employers.

Development

The project is in the piloting phase. Adjustments are likely to be made, but it is too early to assess what these will be.

Barriers

There are two major barriers. The first is to ensure the engagement of private actors to use the platform. The value of the platform will depend on the extent to which private actors engage with the platform and build in their own services to create an active 'ecosystem'. The second barrier is the security of confidential data. The platform handles personal data and that requires careful management to ensure data security.

Success factors

To achieve a successful 'ecosystem' of users will benefit all the actors and create new models to tackle skill mismatch and other labour market issues. Digitalisation and artificial intelligence may increase productivity and create value-added for all actors in the service and so reach a critical mass of users.

Monitoring

Monitoring data is not yet available, but the outcomes likely to be monitored include how many jobs, applications and matches are created in the system. The system has the potential ideally to help monitor the effectiveness of other labour market instruments as well.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The innovativeness is based on using the newest technology. The idea is that the platform will deliver the framework for companies and other stakeholder to create and integrate innovative services.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

There is no evidence so far.

Engagement of stakeholders

Engagement of users is the crucial question. The platform is only valuable if both job-seekers and employers use it. To engage employers, they must be confident that the platform will help them find suitably qualified labour. Stakeholder have been included in the planning phase to ensure that the platform will meet their needs.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

Finnish employment services are quite centrally-led and for that reason the unemployed, at least, will be expected to use official job seeking channels. The engagement of companies is voluntary. Increasing digitalisation and use of artificial intelligence is available to any country, but the success of public sector to create, and get sufficient engagement with a platform for labour market actors will depend on the role of employment services in each country.

Sustainability

The platform is now in development phase and in the future, it is likely that it will replace existing systems.

Description

Timespan

Labour market training (LMT) has a long tradition in Finland. This instrument has been in force since January 2013.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The policy actively promotes employment by assisting the unemployed, or people at the risk of unemployment, to find new employment more quickly.

Policy goal

The goal is to improve the professional skills of unemployed adults or adults who are at risk of being unemployed, enhancing their possibilities of finding a job or retaining one. It also aims to improve their capacity for working as entrepreneurs. The overall aim is to promote the availability of skilled labour. Education and training are key measures to help people meet changing skills requirements and improve the matching of supply of and demand for labour. Skills development of individuals has an important role in the implementation of ALMPs and in managing challenges of changing skills requirements.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

The main idea behind labour market training is that there are open jobs, but the unemployed cannot apply because they lack the right skills. The labour market training is designed to provide those skills in demand. Sometimes the training may require a whole new vocational degree, but in most cases the programmes are more targeted to upgrade and update existing skills.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Stakeholders

Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment: the regional administrations of central government are responsible for distributing funding regionally.
TE-Toimisto (Employment Offices) are responsible for public unemployment services, and among other tasks, they participate in selecting people for training. Only customers of TE-Toimisto are eligible to apply for unemployment training.
Educational Institutes and Private Education Companies: organise most of the training and participate in the development of new programmes.

Funding

The funding is mainly public. In the 2017 Finnish Government Budget, there was €146.6 million for unemployment training and €37.4 million for expert services and pilots. Private companies may cover a part of the expenses when a new labour force is educated for their needs. The actual share of private funding is not available in statistics.
The major funding sources are national. The most important funding is the government funding, which is part of the government budget. This funding is decided for each year. Companies also participate in the programmes that are tailored to their needs. The European Social Fund is used locally to pilot training programmes but otherwise there is no EU funding. The total funding fluctuates from year to year and, due to general budget cuts, funding for labour market training has decreased in recent years.

Intended beneficiaries

Unemployed adults or adults at risk of being unemployed. The aim is to upgrade and update their skills to find new employment or to keep their current jobs. Companies may also be seen as beneficiaries. The unemployment training programmes are sometimes tailored for the needs of specific companies in order to provide qualified labour.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

LMSI are used on an ongoing basis to improve the training delivered. New programmes are designed to meet the observed or sometimes predicted labour needs. When the unemployed person is searching for new career options, she or he is advised about which choices would improve his/her employability.

Financial schemes

The employment officials purchase training programmes from educational institutes or private education companies by public tendering.

Frequency of updates

The LMSI exercises used to inform this policy are as follows: The "Occupational barometer", which is conducted twice a year and analyses the demand and supply of certain professionals; skills anticipation carried out by Finnish National Agency for Education, which comprises a long-term forecast of labour demand. Those are both used to design labour market training.

Development

The labour training is continuously developed for several purposes. Active labour market policy aims at finding training for all who need it. While the unemployment rate has remained high since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2009, the demand for training has increased. However, its funding has not increased accordingly. For that reason, there is a need to develop new models to combine public and private funding and meet the needs of the companies. In Finland, a new issue is that highly-educated people have difficulties to find employment. That has created the need to design training programmes for them too.

Barriers

In general, the implementation has been successful. However, there are some remaining challenges. One of them is a lack of funding. There is also no evidence that all the training programmes would increase employability. Furthermore, there is a debate about the fairness of the programmes. Especially when a company is training unemployed people and not then recruiting them, it is questioned whether the unemployed are treated fairly or used as a subsidised labour.

Success factors

The success factors is how well new programmes manage to link unemployed people to the labour markets needs. An important factor is the collaboration between unemployment officials and companies. The other is the use of LMSI to assess changing labour market needs.

Monitoring

The progress of the instrument is monitored on a regular basis. Key indicators are: (1) how many of the participants are employed within 2 months after training; and (2) a standard survey (OPAL-survey) of every participant to assess their satisfaction, including their self-assessment of whether or not they have learnt something new.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

There are many kinds of labour market policies and for that reason, also different types of innovativeness. New methods of learning are used in some of the programmes and new models for collaboration with the companies are designed. The key factor has been maintaining a high quality without additional resources. Good outcomes have been reached, for instance, in collaboration with private recruitment companies, who know the companies' needs and understand what kind of education is required to meet those needs.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The effectiveness is monitored systematically with two main indicators. They are the share of trained persons who have found employment within 2 months after training and OPAL-survey, which collects feedback from the participants. The latest report is from 2016 with figures for 2015. In 2015, about 49% of participants were employed within 2 months after the training. According to the OPAL-survey, 82% of participants were satisfied with the training. The benefits are in the line with the expectation. Naturally the employability could be higher and the instrument cannot equally serve all the groups, but in principle, it has helped the unemployed to find employment. There are no reports of unexpected benefits or cost. The cost control is quite good and it is limited by the budget. The satisfaction of the participants indicated that the benefits exceed the improved employability.

Engagement of stakeholders

The engagement is based on the continuity of the instrument. Finnish labour markets operate in a particular way and all parties are committed to follow those principles. The engagement is based upon the fact the government mainly funds the program. Labour market training is profitable for the educational institutions i.e. they are selling the training as a service for a price that covers all the expenses with potential margins. For the companies, the training project is a cost-efficient way to hire employees when qualified labour is not available in other ways.

Transferability
Easily transferable

The idea is easily transferable to all the countries with educational institutions producing these types of training programme, and with availability of public funding. Collaboration with companies in their recruitment processes is another good practice.

Sustainability

The instrument will continue in the future. It has a long history and there is no indication that the instrument would be cancelled.

Description

Timespan

Started in 2017

Stage
Pilot

Foundations

Policy area

The target group is explicitly adult education and networks around the education of adults.

Policy goal

The policy goal is to increase the knowledge of the (current and future) skills required for the adult population in different businesses. That information is needed to make better informed policy decisions at all levels of the educational system, to better meet the needs of labour market. The anticipation tries also to increase the level of expertise and know-how in Finland in general. For that reason it is not only reactive but proactive. The rationale is to adjust the supply and the content of education to better meet the need of industry in a proactive manner. The anticipation material is used also by the students to make better informed decisions and by teachers to plan the content of their teaching.

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

Mismatch is a part of the goals, but the adult education is a boarder concept.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Finnish National Agency of Education (under the Ministry of Education and Culture)

Stakeholders

Network of experts from ministries, labour market organisations and educational institutions. Students are also represented in the network. Each expert provides insights about the educational needs and how changes are affecting skills requirements. The anticipation is funded through the budget of the Finnish National Agency of Education, who takes care of the practical work. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the implementation, to the extent that it decides entrance to education, the number of the students etc, but that is carried out in collaboration with educational institutes. The Ministry is responsible for controlling the agency in general, and since anticipation is part of the law-based responsibilities of the agency, other officials could also participate in the controlling of the agency. It is important to remember that the agency may decide the model for the anticipation quite freely in collaboration with its stakeholders.

Funding

The funding is part of the National Agency's regular activity and total budget. The funding information for this individual activity is not available.

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiaries are the adult population, educational institutions and the industry. The piloting has started in transport and logistics sectors.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Improved insights into skills needs in certain sectors can be utilised to improve planning of education and training - both quantities and the content of the education.

Financial schemes

The anticipation is funded by the agency budget funding. Network partners are not funded, but they are expected to collaborate because of their own interest.

Frequency of updates

The cycle of anticipation is four years, but the outcomes are used and distributed on an ongoing basis.

Development

The instrument is in the piloting phase, so it is too early to assess what adjustments might be made. Compared to earlier work, more recommendations are made and more attention is paid to cross-cutting issues like learning environment. For example, anticipation gives insights into how digital learning environments can be better used.

Barriers

The first barrier is how to utilize the created information. So far only a minor part of the funding of the education is based on the result. For that reason the educational institute may offer degrees in the fields, where there is low demand for labour while other sectors are lacking of labour. Even though that could be predicted, the changes take place slowly since educational institutes have no adequate incentives to take employability into account. Another barrier is the resource constraint. For instance, big data methods could be used in the anticipation work, but there are not sufficient resources.

Success factors

The success factor is bringing together all relevant stakeholders in the planning phase. That enables the use of all the relevant information.

Monitoring

So far in the pilot, no monitoring information is available. In general, anticipation is produced as background material and its use is not systematically monitored. It is hard to estimate to what extent the anticipation has affected the content, number of starting places etc.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The innovation is the use of a wide network of stakeholders and the combination of different methodologies, like literature review, Delphi, workshops etc. Another innovation is to incorporate both industry and cross-cutting perspectives. This is meant to provide a very wide perspective for skills needed in the selected sectors.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

There is no evidence so far. An unexpected benefit has been that teachers have used the outcomes of the process to inform the planning of their courses. To keep within the constraints of funding, the use of modern digital tools like big data has had to be limited.

Engagement of stakeholders

It is important that different stakeholders will commit to the process. That is mainly based on the long culture of that kind of collaboration in Finland and the need of all actors to get better information for decision making.

Transferability
Easily transferable

The working model for this approach is transferable. The success would depend mainly on the kind of culture for collaboration that exists between different stakeholders in any given country.

Sustainability

Through legislation, there is a future commitment to the anticipation process. The model or methods used for anticipation may however change over time.