Subsidised jobs not available for those aged 25 – 30
Social guarantee available only to some
The social guarantee extended to young people does not apply to the most difficult group of youthful unemployed – the long-term jobless between the ages of 25 and 30.
The government is promising all those aged 25 a job, a place to study, or rehabilitation before unemployment has lasted for three months.
The same promise is extended to those under 30 who have completed a degree. The aim of the social guarantee is to prevent young people from long-term joblessness and the danger of being marginalised from society.
Funding worth about EUR 60 million has been proposed for the scheme for 2012 – 2015.
Researcher Pekka Myrskylä of Statistics Finland says that there were 27,000 young job applicants in Finland in September this year. An estimated 17,000 young people fall outside of the statistics, and some of them are seriously marginalised.
“It’s very good that more attention has been paid to youth unemployment, but what are we to do to those young people who have been without work or who have been outside society for years?” says Lea Karjalainen, chairwoman of TVY, the national cooperative organisation of the unemployed. She says that people seeking help at TVY support groups include many who have academic degrees.
Ministry of Employment official Pekka Tiainen admits that a shortage of money is making it harder to implement the guarantee.
If the money in the framework programme were distributed among all jobless under 30 years of age, there would be EUR 1,100 available for each young person needing assistance.
If the money were spent on those who have been out of work for less than three months, the available funding would amount to EUR 1,700 per young beneficiary. This would be enough to pay for measures lasting 2.6 months if subsidies the size of the labour market subsidy are used. The labour market subsidy in 2012 will be about EUR 8,000 a year.
Tiainen estimates that eliminating youth unemployment in its present form would cost between EUR 400 million to EUR 500 million. This figure was so big that parties involved in the government formation talks decided on age limitations.
The government plans to cut so-called normal employment funding. Last year employment funding was EUR 590 million, and this year it is coming down to EUR 560 million. In 2012 the proposed figure is just EUR 480 million.
This will make the plight of the long-term unemployed more difficult as well as the situation of those aged 25 to 30 who will be outside the social guarantee system.
Tuija Oivo is the chairwoman of a committee at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, which is preparing the implementation of the social guarantee system. She says that the measures included in the guarantee need to be implemented in such a way that no young person under 25 who has finished university or vocational training should be without a job for more than three months.
“Although the guarantee has been written as it is written now, we do not plan to forget young people who have been unemployed for a longer time”, Oivio says.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Decline in Helsinki’s unemployment rate from last year (22.9.2011)
Industrial redundancies notwithstanding, employment situation set to improve (2.9.2011)