As stated in Prime Minister Marin’s Government Programme, the role of local governments as organiser of employment services will be strengthened.
The first measure is to launch local government pilots on employment, in which municipalities are partly responsible for the provision of employment and economic services in their area. The pilot projects aim to increase the effectiveness of promoting employment by coordinating the resources, skills and services of the State and municipalities.
The local government pilots on employment began on 1 March 2021 and will end on 30 June 2023.
In its mid-term policy review, the Government decided to continue preparations for the transfer of employment and economic development services (TE services) to municipalities. The services will be transferred entirely to municipalities in 2024.
Customers who will transfer to pilot projects
Unemployed jobseekers and jobseekers covered by employment services who are not entitled to earnings-related unemployment allowance will transfer to the pilot projects in the areas involved. The target group also includes all jobseekers under the age of 30 and all immigrants and foreign-language speakers who are either unemployed or covered by employment services in the TE Offices in the pilot areas. The municipality is responsible for providing public employment and business services (TE services) to these customer groups. TE Offices will inform the jobseekers in question that their municipality will be responsible for providing TE services for them in the future.
The legislative changes do not affect employers who are customers of TE Offices. TE Offices will continue to provide employer and business services in the pilot areas, but they will cooperate closely with the municipalities in the coordination of employer services. The municipalities participating in the pilots can accept job advertisements from employers and introduce suitable jobseekers to them.
Aims of the pilot project
The pilots aim to increase employment among unemployed jobseekers and to direct them to training and education more effectively. Another objective is to create new solutions to ensure the availability of skilled labour. The purpose of the pilots is to improve access to the labour market especially for the long-term unemployed and those in a more vulnerable position in the labour market. The pilots involve developing services and service models for jobseekers that support employment and allow service advisers to identify and address customers’ individual service needs, barriers to employment and skills development needs.
The State and the municipalities have a strong common interest in promoting employment and the aim is to combine their resources. The pilots aim to provide information on the effectiveness of combining State and local government funding, expertise and customer service.
The pilots will increase the customer-orientation of services by integrating employment, education and social and health services more closely together. Instead of a strict service model, municipalities can develop services based on the needs of jobseekers and employers in their area. The participating municipalities will arrange pilot projects to test different ways of providing employment services and to identify best practices for renewing service structures.
Statistical monitoring and impact assessment of the local government pilots
Continuous statistical monitoring and impact assessments will be used to monitor the pilots. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, municipalities and other stakeholders have prepared national monitoring indicators, which will deliver data to the pilot areas on the progress of the projects on a monthly basis. A joint evaluation plan has been drawn up for the pilots.