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Working life
Our vision for 2010

Finland is an affluent society, based on knowledge and providing job

opportunities for everyone. The employment services have been

reorganized so as to meet the new labour market situation and the

challenges of a changing working life. Labour and immigration policies

aim to increase employment by 100,000 people by the year 2007,

when the unemployment rate would be 6 per cent.

The reaching of the objectives necessitates comprehensive cooperation.

On the part of the labour administration, we have settled on
the following main guidelines:

● Reducing structural unemployment and fighting exclusion.

● Ensuring the availability of competent labour.

● Enhancing work productivity in a qualitatively sustained way.

● Creating potentials for active and work-based immigration policy.

● Increasing entrepreneurship and self-employment.
The Ministry of Labour
develops working life and directs the labour administration

        s part of the Government, the Ministry
        of Labour is responsible for drafting
        legislation and for preparing other
decisions of the Government and
Parliament in matters pertaining to the
labour administration. The Ministry also
develops and directs the activities of the
labour administration and attends to
international relations. In addition,
the Ministry is vastly responsible
for the implementation of labour
and immigration policies.
     The promotion of employment, the
fighting of unemployment, and public
employment services belong to the Ministry
of Labour. The Ministry also develops work
organizations, working life and the collective
agreements procedure. Likewise, the conciliation of
labour disputes, and immigration, refugeeism and remigration
belong to the Ministry of Labour.
     The Ministry of Labour is also in charge of preventing racism and promoting
good ethnic relations and equality. Additionally, matters related to non-military
service, certain seamen’s services and pay guarantee matters are attended to by the
Ministry of Labour.
     The activities of the Ministry of Labour are directed by the Minister of Labour,
assisted by the Permanent Secretary.The Ministry has two departments: the Policy
Department and the Labour Market Policy Implementation Department. Beside
these, there is an Administrative Services Unit.
     The Ministry of Labour has 340 employees. The total number of employees
in the labour administration is 3,980, the majority of whom are working in the
employment offices. The appropriations of the state budget of 2004 amount to
2,300 million euro. Of this amount, approx. 1,900 million euro is used for the
implementation of labour policy. Half of this amount are expenses related to
unemployment security, paid in the form of labour market support.
     The operating principle of the Ministry of Labour is tripartism, which refers to
the cooperation between the state, the employer organizations and the employee
organizations. The labour administration has also cooperation with many other
parties. Important cooperation partners include the municipalities, cooperation
ministries, entrepreneurial organizations, producers of labour policy services and
organizations in the third sector as well as other civic organizations.

                                 Studies and development of
                                 working life
                                  Broad research activities constitute the basis for
                                  the activities of the Ministry of Labour and the
                                 labour administration. The research studies analyze
                                working conditions, the effectiveness of the labour
                               administration services, working life quality, and well-
                              being at work. In addition, methods are developed for
                            enhancing the innovation and productivity of working
                          communities. Part of the research activities serve directly
                       the development of labour legislation.
                       Together with the cooperation ministries and the labour
              market and entrepreneurial organizations, the Ministry of Labour has
    launched a programme for developing the productivity and quality of working
    life (Tykes). The programme aims to highlight Finland as a leading country in
    working life development and to be prepared for the reduction of labour supply
    in the next few years. The programme takes special consideration of the needs
    for developing small enterprises.

    The Government’s employment
    For reaching the Government’s
    goals concerning employment,
    a governmental employment
    programme uniting different
    ministries has been launched. The
    programme is directed by
    the Minister of Labour.
        The governmental employment
    programme aims to reduce
    unemployment and promote the
    availability of labour for enterprises.
    The employment programme includes
    four sub-projects: reforming the service
    structure of the public employment service,
    increasing the active use of labour market support,
    developing active labour-policy measures and competence,
    and lengthening work careers.
        The structural reform of the employment services means improvements in
    the services directed at jobseekers as well as employers.The use of electronic net
    services will be increased, differentiating at the same time local services. For the
    employment of the most difficult-to-employ clients, labour force service centres
    will be formed jointly with the municipalities, the Social Insurance Institution
    and other cooperation partners. The labour force service centres will provide

diversified services for the clients. At the same
time, operational models will be developed for
the employment offices.

Varied international activities
The main stress in international affairs is on the
activities of the European Union. The Ministry
of Labour participates in the preparation and
application of the decisions concerning the labour
policy and immigration of the EU. The EU has a joint
employment strategy, which promotes full employment, working
life quality and productivity as well as social inclusion. In relation to the
employment strategy, the Member Countries make their own national action
plans for employment (NAP).
     The Ministry of Labour is also responsible for the matters of the International
Labour Organization (ILO) in Finland, thus participating in the global
development of working life standards.
     Within the framework of the cooperation with the Nordic Council of
Ministers and other Nordic cooperation, matters related to employment and
working life, as well as migration and refugee policy, are discussed. Cooperation
with the neighbouring areas include the development of labour administrations,
vocational upgrading of the labour force, and labour mobility.
     Other significant international activity is related to the matters of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the
Council of Europe. The Ministry of Labour also cooperates with the UN, and
particularly with its refugee organization UNHCR.

The Ministry of Labour
implements immigration
The Ministry of Labour is responsible
for the strategy on immigration
and refugee affairs, legislation and
steering of activities. The tasks of
the labour administration include
the reception of refugees and asylum
seekers, integration and employment
of immigrants, prevention of ethnic
discrimination and racism, promotion of
good ethnic relations, as well as regulation
and supervision of the use of foreign labour.
The Ministry of Labour creates conditions for the
immigrants to settle down in Finnish society.

                                           The Ministry of Labour
                                           administers the European
                                           Social Fund
                                           The Ministry of Labour is the ministry
                                          responsible for the European Social Fund
                                        (ESF) in Finland. Through ESF funding,
                                       Finnish know-how and employment
                                     possibilities are enhanced.The projects promote
                                  especially employability, entrepreneurship and
                               equality in working life. They also fortify training
                           and industrial relations. Functioning labour markets,
                    lifelong learning, active training and labour policies as well as
    the prevention of social exclusion have been set as targets. The total financing
    of the ESF during the programme period 2000-2006 is 3 milliard euro. Of this
    amount, the EU’s proportion is 0.9 milliard euro, the proportion of the national
    public financing 1.1 milliard euro, while private financing accounts for one
    milliard euro.

    The labour administration ensures the fluency of the
    labour market
    The labour administration is responsible
    for the public employment service. The
    central labour administration services
    for individual clients comprise
    employment service, labour market
    training, rehabilitative work
    experience, studying retirement
    conditions, job alternation leave,
    and subsidized employment.
    Start-up grants can be granted to
    future entrepreneurs. Training and
    occupational information services
    are provided for those intending to
    take up studies. There is also guidance
    for vocational selection and career
        Employers are offered recruitment services,
    counselling, joint purchase training, investment
    subsidies and special services liable to charges.

Local employment offices are
responsible for serving clients
The clients of the labour administration are
given guidance to use electronic net services on
their own initiative. Part of them are informative
services, yet a growing number are transaction
services related to the filling of vacancies or
placement in training.
    During 2003, the labour administration had 810,000
registered jobseeker-clients. About 75,500 people started
labour market training, and 312,000 vacancies were
    At the regional level, the labour administration has 15 Employment and
Economic Development Centres, including their Labour Market Departments,
as well as local employment offices and their outlets.
    The Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry
of Agriculture and Forestry have jointly combined their regional forces in the
Employment and Economic Development Centres (T&E Centre).

Employment and Economic
Development Centres
 1.   Uusimaa
 2.   Varsinais-Suomi
 3.   Satakunta
 4.   Häme                                                   15
 5.   Pirkanmaa
 6.   South-Eastern Finland
 7.   South Savo
 8.   North Savo                                        13
 9.   North Karelia
10.   Central Finland
11.   Southern Ostrobothnia
12.   Ostrobothnia                     12
13.   Northern Ostrobothnia                    11                 8
14.   Kainuu                                            10
15.   Lapland
                                       3       5

                                                        4    6

     Contact information:

     Postal address:
     Ministry of Labour
     P.O. Box 34
     FIN-00023 Government


     Home page:
     Provides information on the services and
     tasks of the Ministry of Labour and the
     employment offices.

     Street addresses in Helsinki:
     Eteläesplanadi 4 (management, Policy Department and Administrative Services)
     Mikonkatu 4 (Labour Market Policy Implementation Department, Administrative
     Services and the Office of the Ombudsman for Minorities)
     Bulevardi 6 A, (National Conciliators’ Office)

     Telephone exchange of the Ministry of Labour +358 9 16001
     Telephone exchange of the National Conciliator +358 9 2525 3500

     At the end of 2004, all the telephone numbers of the labour administration will
     change. The Ministry of Labour will have two parallel numbers. They are the
     telephone exchange of the Government +358 9 16001 and the new number in
     connection with the labour administration +358 10 604 001.

Text: Information Unit, Ministry of Labour • Layout: Innocorp Oy • Print: Sävypaino, 2004

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