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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms related to transversal skills and employability


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.5National reforms related to transversal skills and employability

Last update: 27 November 2023


Financial support to relieve the effects caused by the corona pandemic

The corona crisis has increased youth unemployment significantly in Finland. The government of Finland proposes 111 million euros to relieve the effects caused for children by the corona pandemic to the children. Also support for young people for employment, education and health challenges will be granted.

The government proposes 40 million euros to early childhood education and care, pre-primary and for basic education,  15 million euros to general upper secondary  education and 5 million euros to both liberal adult education and to vocational education and training. Furthermore, 4 million euros is proposed to the financing of higher education institutions. 

With the financing an attempt is made to level down effects caused by the koronavirustilanne as the growth of the learning deficit and the weakening of the students' welfare. 

The corona crisis has increased youth unemployment significantly in Finland. The government has strengthened operations called Ohjaamo. It is a national programme for supporting young people in challenges which are related for example employment, education and health.  

The total financing of 13 million euros has been reserved for the years 2021-2024. 


State grant for a total of 1.1 million EUR for improving literacy skills

The Literacy Movement from 2018, is an ongoing governmental programme aimed at promoting the literacy of Finnish residents, especially children and young people. The Literacy Movement aims to expand the concept of literacy and to bring forward the importance of both multiliteracy and multilingualism.

Municipalities, joint municipal authorities, foundations, association etc. can apply for the state grant for a total of 1.1 million Euro for improving literacy skills. The purpose of the special grant for the literacy movement is to find new ways to improve literacy skills in cooperation with municipal and regional actors. The aim is a systemic change with common objectives and measures and more co-operation between different actors. The Finnish National Agency of Education administers the application process.

Finland has held a high position in international literacy surveys, but literacy skills have declined according to latest PISA and PIRLS studies. Poor literacy skills have become more common and the number of highly skilled readers has decreased. The literacy level of those under the age of 25 has dropped in a little over a decade. Resent researches show that regional differences have increased. It increases the risk of exclusion in studies, working life or otherwise in society as literacy is one of the basic skills needed in life. It enables people to become self-aware, find their strengths and develop their creativity and social skills. It is a basic requirement for personal development and active participation in society.



Activities of centres of competence for migrants supported by state subsidy

To facilitate access to education and training and employment the Ministry of Education and Culture grants 2.5 million euros for supporting the activities of centres of competence (osaamiskeskus) for migrants. The centers provide education, employment and rehabilitation services for adult migrants.

Municipalities with at least 15,000 foreign language speakers are eligible to apply for funding. The subsidy covers costs incurred by enhancing the mapping of customers’ prior learning; guidance to working life and the necessary education and training; support during education and training; management and coordination; and impact assessment.

For more information in Finnish:

Enhancing lifelong learning

At the beginning of 2017, the Ministry of Education and Culture set up a working group to study the conditions and development needs of lifelong learning. 
Suggestions of the group are: 
The working group emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning skills. 
Group draws attention to the stagnation of the rise of educational level of the population. Group also pays attention to the worrying signals in decreasing skills and knowledge of the basic education leavers.  There should be actions taken to ensure the basic skills of basic education leavers and to ensure access to further studies and good graduation level from upper secondary level.  
The working group proposes the following: 
• The changing needs of the labour market should be taken into account in the availability, comprehensiveness and in the quality of education.
• Higher education institutions and educational institutions should co-operate more in developing set of different study modules which serve the needs of working life and lifelong learning 
• Transparency in teaching and open learning materials should be increased. 
• Open higher education should be organised in different ways, more focused and more versatile. 
• To create tools how to identify and recognize previously acquired skills. 
The Working group also proposes measures to improve access to education information. Also public funding for adult education should be targeted specifically at groups with weaker educational opportunities, labour market status, age, or other reasons for further education. 


Supporting an earlier start of working life

According to the Government’s key projects during 2016-18 measures will be required that support earlier start of working life. Transition within and between different levels of education will be made as flexible as possible. Faster graduation and earlier transition to working life will be encouraged.

  • The entrance examination procedure to higher education institutions will be renewed.
  • A third term will be announced in higher education institutions.
  • Cooperation between the upper secondary level and higher education will be increased.
  • Qualification requirements in the public sector will be updated.

According to the Government Strategic Programme:

  • The learning methods and environments in basic education will be updated to meet the challenges posed by the latest developments. The future knowledge base will be emphasised.
  • Acceleration of transition to working life: Measures will be sought that support earlier start of working life. Movement within and between different levels of education will be made as flexible as possible. Accelerated graduation and faster transition to working life will be encouraged. Qualification requirements in the public sector will be updated.
  • Cooperation between higher education institutions and business life will be strengthened to bring innovations to the market.
  • Youth guarantee towards community guarantee: Cooperation between the public, private and third sectors in efforts to support young people will be intensified. Young people’s life management skills and employment will be supported by means of strengthening social welfare and health care services as a part of the youth guarantee. The best practices of municipalities will be gathered together and the most effective ones will be adopted across the country.  Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government