Jari Lindström (BR), the Minister of Employment, has confirmed that the government is not prepared to continue an acclaimed employment trial in Pirkanmaa after 2018.
Government won’t continue lauded employment trial in Pirkanmaa, says Lindström
“I have to remind that it won’t be the responsibility of municipalities to organise [employment services] in the upcoming system of counties. It’ll be the responsibility of the counties. That’s why we won’t allow trials that aren’t in line with what’s ahead to continue,” he explains - writes helsinkitimes.fi
The trial was launched in the second half of last year in ten municipalities in Pirkanmaa. The municipalities were made responsible for organising employment services for over 20,000 basic allowance, social assistance and labour market subsidy recipients – most of whom are long-term unemployed – in an attempt to prepare for the abolition of the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices).
The TE Offices are to be abolished as part of the regional government reform in 2020.
Several media outlets have written about the positive results of the trial. Tampere, for example, has found employment to an average of 100 long-term unemployed job seekers a week, while all of the participating municipalities have succeeded in promoting the participation of the unemployed in employment services by means of personal meetings.
Regina Saari, a programme director at the City of Tampere, admits to being worried about the looming end of the employment trial.
She points out that the responsibility for the services would be re-assigned to the TE Offices for 2019 before being assigned to the counties established in the regional government reform in 2020.
“If we don’t now use all our resources to tackle unemployment but move customers to the TE Offices for one year and then to the counties, the preparations related to the organisations will be a full-time job for us [at employment services],” she said to Uusi Suomi.
Lindström also acknowledged that the trial has produced positive results but refused to budge from the government’s stance.
“Tampere has done a great job, an excellent job,” he said. “The responsibility has been moved to municipalities as part of the trial, but that’s not the direction we’re heading in. That’s why we’ve been so firm on the issue and stated that these trials can’t continue.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi
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