Pohtiva
Tulostettu Pohtiva - Poliittisten ohjelmien tietovarannosta
URL: www.fsd.uta.fi/pohtiva/ohjelmalistat/SDP/1244

Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue

Sdp’s youth guarantee 2.0


  • Puolue: Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue
  • Otsikko: Sdp’s youth guarantee 2.0
  • Vuosi: 2017
  • Ohjelmatyyppi: erityisohjelma

SDP’S YOUTH GUARANTEE 2.0

Investing in and caring about young people is building Finland’s future

CONTENTS

WHERE ARE YOU GOING, YOUTH GUARANTEE?
A promise to the young
Let’s develop, not dismantle
Safe transitions
Cure for loneliness
Forward, developing
OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO MUNICIPALITIES
Resources according to responsibility
The health and social services reform must not mess up the service supply
The significance of the Youth Act on the youth guarantee
EARLY SUPPORT ENABLES
Family is a child’s most important support network
Equality starts from early childhood education
FROM COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL UPWARDS
Own experiences and guidance to support decisions
There must be a place for everyone
THE UPPER SECONDARY LEVEL AVAILABLE TO ALL YOUNG PEOPLE
More working life to studies
A functioning transition
A SUMMER JOB FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE
HIGHER LEVEL AND EMPLOYMENT
EMPLOYMENT AFTER STUDIES
The Sanssi card and entrepreneur workshops in the tool kit
Labour market organisations should take initiative, too
EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO RECREATION
Activities for the whole village
THE RIGHT TO A HOME
SERVICE GUARANTEE AND LOCAL COOPERATION MODELS
Ohjaamo one-stop guidance service
THE YOUTH GUARANTEE – FINLAND’S INNOVATION
EXPORTED INTO EUROPE

WHERE ARE YOU GOING, YOUTH GUARANTEE?

Youth is a significant stage of life when people form their identity, gather know-how, build social networks, and form a base and direction for the later stages of their life, career aspirations, and life expectations. Youth is a valuable time, but it is also a time of great changes. The familiar life changes, also friendships are formed during adolescence. Many people form a base for their life-long safety net in the turbulence of adolescence. Amid the great changes, young people must find their way first in their studies, then into an occupation. It is not always an easy path to walk. Also starting a family and getting one's own home are big things in young people's lives.

We must encourage young people's confidence in the future in various ways. When we overcome the challenges, Finland is a good and safe country also for young people to live and build their own lives in. Young people have a positive and curious look on life and society. They value the services our welfare society has built for them, including education services. Work is an important part of a meaningful life for young people.

SDP's proposal to develop the youth guarantee starts off from this positive opportunity to support young people particularly in those life situations when support and security are especially needed. We believe that young people will build their own future themselves as long as we build good stepping stones for them. When we offer the young support and help in organising their own everyday lives, for example, in economic issues and social participation, we also allow for the young, too, to be fully part of developing Finland and the Finnish society.

A promise to the young

The youth guarantee is a promise made to the young. Its mission is to create a safety net and support for a stage of life that is, for many young people, full of difficult choices that shape their whole life. Instead of the choices, sometimes the surrounding world may make making the future-shaping decisions difficult or impossible. That is when the value of society's guarantee is measured.

The basic objective of the current youth guarantee model is that everyone under the age or 25 or anyone recently graduated under the age of 30 are offered a work, apprenticeship training, work try-out, workshop, study, or rehabilitation place within three months of graduating. The definition includes all young people - those with an immigrant background, those struggling with learning disabilities and partially disabled and disabled alike. The youth guarantee is a diverse package of services and counselling tailored according to the needs of the young person.

Currently the youth guarantee services are offered, for example, in Employment and Economic Development Centres, municipalities, and through the third and private sectors. During the last Government's term of office, funding for the youth guarantee was altogether around 100 million euros. The current Government has cut the funding to a fraction of this so that, at the moment, the funding is only under 30 million euros. This poses a great challenge to the implementation of the guarantee and undermines its long-term aspect and development. The youth guarantee is not supposed to be a project, but an umbrella, under which different projects can be carried out as required and which guarantees young people equal possibilities for safe growth, education and access to labour market.

YOUTH GUARANTEE PRIORITIES

A young person =
The Youth Act: under the age of 29
Youth guarantee for everyone under 25 and graduates under 30 years of age

EDUCATION GUARANTEE MEASURES THAT PROMOTE EMPLOYMENT OUTREACH YOUTH WORK AND WORKSHOP ACTIVITY YOUNG ADULTS’ SKILLS PROGRAMME THE SOCIAL WELFARE ACT AND EXTENDING ACCESS TO VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
DEVELOPING THE EUROPEAN YOUTH GUARANTEE
  1. Municipalities have the overall responsibility for young people during the youth to prevent marginalisation.
  2. The low-threshold one-stop guidance concept Ohjaamo
  3. Local cooperation models

Let's develop, not dismantle

SDP’s updated youth guarantee model develops the national youth guarantee implemented in 2013 and takes it forward. The goal, in particular, is to tighten the safety net offered to young people so that, in the future, no-one would be left without a place in upper secondary education and training, a place in further studies, or work. The objective is also to broaden the concept of youth guarantee so that it takes into account the entire period of adolescence from early support all the way to the first job. We also want to underline the significance of young people themselves, their initiative, in the implementation of the youth guarantee. Young people must be able to be full members of society. We must encourage and support their opportunities to participate in common decision-making. Young people can and want to take responsibility for their own future with their choices. By helping them in controlling their own lives we also enhance their possibilities to be active in society. We do not want to push young people to a particular direction. We want to hold hands on our journey together.

Safe transitions

SDP's updated youth guarantee model is based on the idea that everyone under the age of 25 and recent graduates under the age of 30 are included in the youth guarantee and are thus entitled to the services and personal assistance that the youth guarantee offers. The youth guarantee must not become loaded with the stigma of young people's problems. Instead, it must be a tool tailored according to individual needs that listens to all young people and supports them in the transitions of life all the way from early childhood education to working life. In addition to key transitions, such as transitions within primary education, to secondary education, and to working life, the youth guarantee must also reach beyond these to the next transition, all the way to higher education or working life. The youth guarantee should also be broadened at the start, which would allow us to best provide young people with good prospects in education and employment. When the message is passed on based on special requirements or wishes identified as early as in early childhood education, allocating timely support and services is more efficient. The youth guarantee must reach also, for example, those young people who are within mental health services or rehabilitation. The possibility to develop oneself and build future plans is one step on the rehabilitation path, too.

Cure for loneliness

Loneliness is a chronic disease even deadlier than obesity. Young generations experience loneliness far more easily than others. Constant, involuntary loneliness can be crushing to your self-esteem. It can kill your joy of life and lead to various health hazards. To alleviate young people's loneliness, we should think of ways for better encounters. Young people deserve to be encountered as themselves, without prejudice or presumptions. Our task is to support them in discovering their own strength.

Driving away loneliness starts with small actions. That is why we propose a 'How are you?' caring campaign where adults, officials, educators, and social and health care workers who encounter young people commit to asking every young person they encounter in their work how the young people are doing. Sometimes a small kind word may save someone's day, sometimes even their whole life.

DEVELOPING THE YOUTH GUARANTEE – master the stages of life

    HIGHER EDUCATION
EARLY CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH

MEASURES OF EARLY SUPPORT
FROM COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL TO UPPER SECONDARY EDUCATION

OVER A FIFTH OF YOUNG
MEN ARE OUTSIDE OF
EDUCATION AND WORK
UPPER SECONDARY EDUCATION

GENERAL UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
TRANSITION TO WORKING LIFE

MEASURES THAT SUPPORT
YOUNG PEOPLE’S EMPLOYMENT
  • Unbroken support chains
  • Well-being of families
  • Social support networks
  • Equality of education
  • Education guarantee
  • Outreach youth work
  • Workshop activity
  • 10th grade
  • Young people who are not in school or working
  • The role of youth work
  • Educational counselling
  • The role of the third sector
  • A place in upper secondary education for the entire age group
  • Developing vocational education and training:
  • Dropping out
  • Closeness to working life (the 2+1 model)
  • The limits of the right to education
  • Eligibility to further studies
  • Pay subsidy (Sanssi subsidy/card)
  • Collective labour agreement wage modifiers
  • Apprenticeship training
  • Practical work training
  • Work trials
  • Employment and Economic Development Office services to young people
  • Summer jobs
  • The Young Workers’ Act
  • Hidden jobs, increasing companies’ knowledge of young people’s employment subsidies

Forward, developing

At the moment the youth guarantee leans of seven columns: educational guarantee, measures that promote employment, outreach youth work, one-stop guidance services and workshop activities as well as entrepreneur workshops for young people, a temporary young adults' skills programme (for 2013-2016), as well as the Social Welfare Act finished during the last electoral term and broader access to occupational rehabilitation. As a new element, SDP's youth guarantee programme includes offering coordinated support arching broadly across the transitions in a young person's life from early childhood education all the way to higher education or working life. This signifies one responsible authority that has an overall picture of a young person’s situation even in changing life situations. In
SDP’s opinion, this bearer of overall responsibility is the municipality.

The youth guarantee working group appointed in the last electoral term created a set of recommendations, based on which the youth guarantee should be developed. These include, e.g., enhancing language training and educational counselling of young immigrants, preventing youth homelessness, investing in educational counselling in general, highlighting apprenticeship training as a considerable method of studying, developing the working life skills and job search skills of young people, and increasing cooperation with employees to improve the recruitment results of young people.

At the same time when we build services that integrate young people in society, we must ensure that by offering special services we do not build a wall around a young person who needs support. When considering support to overcome challenges related to recreational opportunities or studies, decisions must be made so that they do not stigmatise young people or complicate their fitting in with others or the Finnish society. The starting point for building services must be young people, and services must be developed with young people.

MEASURES

  • The youth guarantee concerns all young people, including those with an immigrant background, learning disabilities, and partly disabled and disabled young people.
  • SDP’s updated youth guarantee model takes the national youth guarantee implemented in 2013 forward.
  • As a new element, SDP’s youth guarantee programme includes offering coordinated support in the transitions of a young person’s life from early childhood education all the way to higher education or working life.
  • The youth guarantee working group appointed during the last electoral term created a set of recommendations, based on which the youth guarantee should be developed.
  • To root out loneliness, we propose a ’How are you?’ caring campaign.
  • The starting point in building services must be young people without stigmatising.

THE 9 COLUMNS OF SDP’S YOUTH GUARANTEE:

  • Early childhood and youth support
  • Education guarantee
  • Outreach youth work
  • Workshops and entrepreneur workshops
  • Young adult’s skills programme
  • Occupational rehabilitation secured by the Social Welfare Act
  • Coordinated support in the transitions of a young person’s life
  • Measures that promote employment
  • European youth guarantee

OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO MUNICIPALITES

In SDP's youth guarantee model, we want to increase the role of municipalities. So that all young people from rural areas to suburbs can be guaranteed a continuous service chain, someone must take overall responsibility. A natural authority to take this responsibility is the municipality that already produces and purchases a majority of the services included in the youth guarantee. In practice, this means that the municipality acts as the responsible party that coordinates the services and supporting measures that a young person gets and is a party, for example, when making project contracts with the third sector or cooperation agreements with companies and employers. The municipality's participation creates a solid base for building cooperation and is a kind of fall-back that ensures continuity in the activities and, at best, strengthens the operating conditions of the third sector as implementer of the youth guarantee.

Resources according to responsibility

Moving the overall responsibility for the implementation of the youth guarantee to municipalities is sensible to ensure the flow of information and continuous service chains. Not one young person must be allowed to fall beyond the safety nets of society because he or she has been left in the shadows in the cooperation between officials. The best guarantee for seamless cooperation is that there is one common party that has the main responsibility. As moving the implementation and supervision of the youth guarantee to municipalities increases the municipalities' responsibilities, it is natural that this is also seen in the statutory government transfers to municipalities. The state's task, for its part, is to ensure that municipalities have the resources it takes to implement a high-quality youth guarantee. On the other hand, in the long run municipalities will likely benefit from the soft measures of early support when, for example, the number of school drop-outs decreases. When the municipality acts as the responsible and contracting party for the entire service package for young people, making partnership agreements also with the third sector is natural.

The health and social services reform must not mess up the service supply

The Finnish social and health care field is in great turmoil at the moment. The changes drafted by the Government regarding the status of municipalities, such as establishing regional administration and forbidding municipalities from being service providers, will also influence what happens to the youth guarantee. It is still unclear what will happen to Employment and Economic Development Centres (TE Centres), for example. In the light of the current plans, it seems that in their current form they are under threat of closure and broad incorporation in connection with the changes of the entire field. Also the forced incorporation of employment services formerly offered by municipalities will likely influence the way that the youth guarantee is implemented. In the transition phase, it is particularly important to ensure the quality and availability of services for young people. In addition, we must see to it that young people will not be abandoned in the reform but, instead, are offered one-stop help. The role of educational institutions in preparing for working life could be emphasized, for example, by bringing also Employment and Economic services (TE Services) and guidance and one-stop guidance services, to educational institutions. Thus the services would be easily available to all young people and would not unnecessarily stigmatise those using them.

FACTS

OUTREACH YOUTH WORK

  • The mission of outreach youth work is to reach young people under the age of 29 who are outside of education and training and the labour market and who need support. Outreach youth work is individual service directly to the young person. Its reach has grown year by year.
  • The main target groups are people between 16 to 20 and 21 to 25 of age.
  • In 2015, 90% of the young people that were reached through outreach youth work were between 16 and 25 years of age.
  • There are more men than women within outreach youth work in all age groups, but in age groups under the age of 20 the gender distribution is more equal.
  • In 2015 about 18,900 young people were reached.
  • 555 youth workers worked in outreach youth work.

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture

The significance of the Youth Act on the youth guarantee

According to the new Youth Act, which will come into effect in 2017, the definition of a young person covers everyone under the age of 29. The objective of the Act is to promote inclusion and opportunities for involvement as well as ability and prerequisites of young people to act in society; to support young people's development, independence, and communality as well as gaining knowledge and skills related to them; to support young people's hobbies and activities in civil society; to promote the equality and rights of young people; and to enhance the development and living conditions of young people. The basis for the realisation of the objective is in solidarity, cultural diversity and internationality; sustainable development, healthy living as well as respecting the environment and life, and cooperation across sectors.

As for youth work, the act mentions taking local circumstances into account. This leaves municipalities with some room for application. One central question is, indeed, related to regional equality concerning services.

The act specifies matters of inclusion and, for example, includes a reference to youth councils. This equalises hearing young people regionally, as under the old legislation practices have varied.

According to the Youth Act, there must be a guidance and service network or some other corresponding cooperation group for the general planning of multidisciplinary cooperation of authorities and development of implementation, the target group of which are all young people living in the municipality. The network or other cooperation group must operate in interaction with organisations in the youth field and other communities producing youth services. Two or more municipalities may have a common network. Outreach youth work is started primarily based on information given by young people themselves and their own assessment of their need for support. Outreach youth work may also be started based on information provided by other authorities.

MEASURES

  • In SDP’s youth guarantee model, the overall responsibility for the realisation of the youth guarantee lies with municipalities.
  • The task of the state, then, is to ensure that municipalities have the resources it takes to implement a high-class youth guarantee.
  • Young people must not be abandoned in the health and social services reform. The continuing quality and availability of services for young people must be guaranteed during the change.
  • The possibilities of the new Youth Act must be utilised on the municipal level and youth work resources must also be directed toward realising the objectives of the youth guarantee.
  • The role of educational institutions in the preparation for and transition to working life could be highlighted, for example, by introducing Employment and Economic Services (TE Services) and guidance and one-stop guidance services to educational institutions.

EARLY SUPPORT ENABLES

The realisation of the youth guarantee begins already in early childhood education. In early childhood education, we must invest in quality and ensure that adequately small group sizes enable professionals to work and give children a peaceful environment. Children and young people must be offered support before the actual transition periods of life.

Early intervention and support are the easiest ways to support a child toward the path of learning. When, for example, learning difficulties or neuropsychological challenges are recognised early, suitable personal and long-term support can be tailored for a child to last from basic to upper secondary education or working life and beyond.

Family is a child's most important support network

Families are one of the most important support networks for children and young people. Families and supporting families may be even more efficient ways to help and support children and young people to overcome the difficult bits in life than the service system offered by society. The number of children taken into care has nearly doubled in the 2000s. The underlying reasons are often in the exhaustion, longterm illness or difficult financial situation of parents. The situation tells a bleak story about the decrease of families' resources. Municipalities and the state have many ways how families can be helped before parents lose their strength altogether. These methods must be utilised carefully. Even though the benefits in the need of early support are obvious, we must, at the same time, make sure that instead of ensuring help, early classifications do not end up restricting or labelling a child. The child must be heard in all cases when special needs are examined, and instead of discouraging, the child must be supported on the way toward studies and working life. The Pupil and Student Welfare Act must be extended to cover also those in early childhood education. The key to this is to offer everyone at least a part-time possibility to early childhood education free of charge.

In nursery schools and early support, it is also possible to create new practices. Flexibility in the opening hours of services should be more the norm than an exception. In early support, families as a whole should also be taken better into account. For example domestic aid is an opportunity used too little, which could bring help to the entire family. Also, families need more support to find all possibilities to help their children forward if problems arise.

Equality starts from early childhood education

Children start school with ever more varying backgrounds. Poverty of families with children is everyday life for a growing number of children. Good quality early childhood education can effectively stop the spiral of being underprivileged and increase a child's learning opportunities on the school path. Despite of this, on a European level, the number of children who participate in early childhood education in Finland is low. The participation rate to early childhood education must be raised to the European level of 90-95%, because participation to early childhood education builds a base for later learning. Particularly for children with backgrounds in different languages and cultures, early childhood education has a crucial role in language learning, integration and later school performance.

MEASURES

  • The Pupil and Student Welfare Act must be extended also to those in early childhood education.
  • All children must have the opportunity to participate in early childhood education free of charge. All children must be offered free part-time early childhood education flexibly. In addition to free early childhood education, every child should have the right to supplementary early childhood education. The no fee category is preserved.
  • The early childhood education participation rate in Finland will be raised to the European level.

FROM COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL UPWARDS

During comprehensive school, it must be ensured that the services brought by the Pupil and Student Welfare Act are available to young people. The cooperation of schools, homes and those offering social and health care services must be seamless. The service package must be clear, and the services must be supported by remote services offered online.

A growing number of children and young people do not meet the minimum goals of basic education, which leads them to be at risk of being excluded from further studies and working life alike. The latest PISA rates tell a harsh story of the decline of the study performance of boys, in particular, and of the socioeconomic status of parents being visible in the study performance of children and young people. The majority of those who are left without an upper secondary qualification are male.

Underlying the weak employment rate of young and elderly men are differences that arise in education as early as in childhood and youth. To change the direction, we need services that support studies. Attention must be paid also to the status and well-being of boys. The special needs of boys and the ways in which they can be supported better than at the moment must be examined. Many pupils are deprived of the remedial and special teaching they are entitled to. This is unacceptable. Many municipalities and schools must wake up and ensure the remedial and special teaching for pupils required by the Basic Education Act.

The Social Democrats want to strengthen the original goal of the comprehensive school; to be a school of good quality, a school of education and a school of the future for children and young people of the local area everywhere. Some schools have a lot more pupils who need support than others. The schools of the most challenging areas must be supported with separate subsidies to strengthen the local school policy. All pupils must get the support they need, whether it is general, intensified or special support.

FACTS

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

  • Livelihood is the biggest worry for young people.
  • In 2015, the employment rate of young people between 15 to 29 years of age was 50.5 percent.
  • 30 percent of the 18 to 30 year-old unemployed have never had an actual job.
  • Outsiderness and unemployment are partially hereditary from generation to generation.
  • In 2010, about 5 percent of the generation of between 15 to 19 years of age was considered to be socially excluded.
  • The number of young men outside of education, training and the labour market has nearly doubled from 2005 to 2015.

Source: Finnish Youth Cooperation - Allianssi: Young People in Finland

Appropriate class size supports learning

The increasing versatility of the backgrounds of pupils requires that the sizes of teaching groups are reasonable. However, the ratio of adults and children should be examined, for example, school by school, as in different learning situation the group size may vary. New learning is often also cooperation between pupils and teachers, and teaching groups may be formed differently in different learning situations. New learning also requires and creates different learning situations, and thus the size and methods of groups may vary. This must not mean, however, that the number of teachers in relation to pupils decreases permanently.

We must make sure that possible challenges in learning are addressed rapidly; the early support model ensures a learning path as smooth as possible. This requires that teachers also recognise learners with special needs and are capable of offering teaching suitable for different styles of learning. About 20-25% of all learners are learners with special needs, and if they are not recognised, there is a substantial threat they will fall off the normal learning path. In addition to learners with special needs, support must also be offered to pupils with special needs. At the same time it must be seen to that the eligibility of these young people to further studies is maintained as well as possible.

Own experiences and guidance to support decisions

The objective of the youth guarantee is that every young person acquires at least an upper secondary education. Hence educational counselling and guidance as well as introduction periods to working life should be given reasonable resources so that young people get information and support to find the most suitable student places for themselves after basic level education. More investments are also needed in the preparatory education for upper secondary education after comprehensive school. It has been actively offered, for example, to immigrants desiring to go to general upper secondary school, but the preparatory education should be more broadly offered to everyone who needs it. For many young people, educational counselling may be the only place where their future plans and worries are systematically addressed. For every young person to have the chance for well considered decisions in their lives, they must have adequate possibilities to use educational counselling services. In addition to traditional face-to-face discussions, services independent of time and place, for example online meetings, must be developed. Every student should have an appointed teacher or study counsellor who follow the overall course of the studies and guide the student more closely than currently. In addition to counselling centred around the individual, also the possibilities for group counselling should be examined. This would leave study counsellors enough time to help those who need help the most. Educational counselling must be developed through a special development programme for educational counselling, with the long-term development objective that one study counsellor has no more than 200 pupils to counsel. For regional equality, it would be best if school health care and its resources would also in the future remain as the responsibility of municipalities.

There must be a place for everyone

The Social Democrats pursue an education guarantee that would guarantee a study place in upper secondary education for everyone who finishes basic level education. The place of those who finish basic level education is not at home being socially excluded or at a work place with inadequate information and skills. For those who finish basic level education and do not have what it takes to directly proceed to an upper secondary qualification are reserved a place in preparatory education for general upper secondary or vocational education, workshops or the voluntary additional year of basic education, the 10th grade. For some young people, the 10th grade can be a positive chance to enhance their possibilities for further studies and take some time to consider their plans for the future. Also the name and concept of the 10th grade can be reconsidered. The proposal to change the 10th grade to a new concept called open upper secondary level - open vocational institute - is to be welcomed. On the open upper secondary level, a student would physically study at an upper secondary level educational institute, not at the comprehensive school. The starting point for the reform would be that students could improve their comprehensive school grades with a special degree and, at the same time, take so-called open studies on the upper secondary level in those subjects and fields that they are interested in and wish to continue their studies. Thus young people could try out if their intended choice of study is suitable for them and at the same time advance their future studies already during the 10th grade.

For those young people who do not find or get in their desired student place right away must, according to the youth guarantee, be offered a work, practical work training, work trial, workshop, study or rehabilitation place within three months of becoming unemployed. The special needs of the young person must be taken into account and recognised while hearing the young person him/herself.

Parliamentary overall reform of the Basic Education Act is started to follow the reform of basic education.

MEASURES

  • A student should have an appointed teacher and study counsellor who follow the overall course of the studies.
  • Educational counselling must be developed through a special educational counselling development programme where one objective should be that one student counsellor has no more than 200 pupils to counsel.
  • New quality criteria are defined for basic education and, in conjunction, the increased differences between municipalities in the annual numbers of lesson hours are examined.
  • It is seen to that the school-specific student/teacher ratio enables teaching that is of good quality and adequately individual.
  • The education of boys must be invested in by finding out the methods of supporting them
  • in their studies better.
  • Every pupil who needs support in learning must be given the remedial and/or special teaching required by the Basic Education Act.
  • The support for schools in challenging operating environments and the development of the quality of basic education in various ways will continue.
  • The scope of compulsory education must be extended. Every pupil finishing basic level education will continue on the upper secondary level or in preparatory education for the upper secondary level.
  • Educational counselling in comprehensive schools is strengthened. It is important that young people get guidance about the different vocational training and general upper secondary school alternatives.
  • A model of early support is developed within basic education to recognise young people at risk of social exclusion.
  • The reachability and quality of upper secondary education is invested in. To reach this goal, cooperation between general upper secondary education and vocational education and training must be intensified in, e.g., digital, social, and problem solving skills.
  • The possibility to doing double degrees is secured.
  • The 10th grade is kept in the tool kit. As a new development, the 10th grade is transformed into an open upper secondary level, during which one can already do upper secondary level studies alongside raising one's grades.

THE UPPER SECONDARY LEVEL AVAILABLE TO ALL YOUNG PEOPLE

One important task of education and training, in addition to increasing knowledge and skills, is to inspire young people to find their own desire to succeed and make it. This desire can be nurtured, for example, through student centred teaching. Every Finn must have the chance to at least an upper secondary level education. Today's working life is changing at an immense speed, and without a post-comprehensive school education it is difficult to enter the working life. The changes also put pressure on reforming education, as young people do not feel they are getting the necessary tools for the future from upper secondary level education. Education must be developed as a whole to better suit today's needs. There must be enough contact instruction. Cutbacks especially in upper secondary level vocational education and training are gnawing at the quality and availability of education. The pedagogical readiness of teachers must be paid attention to so that they can guide learners with special needs. Teachers also need the help and support of experts as well as to increase their working life competence.

It is important that everyone can keep up with studies. The objective must be that every young person completes an upper secondary level degree and problems are addressed preventively before they arise. Student welfare services must be gathered as a clear package so that it is easy for every student to seek services. Remote services offered over the net offer a chance to complement the package and make the services ever more accessible.

Student welfare services must be registered as statutory neighbourhood services, and their availability must be secured. If a student ends up dropping out in the middle of his or her studies, he or she must be directed to the necessary services, whether it be one-stop guidance, rehabilitation, working life coaching, or a new field of study.

More working life to studies

The employment of young people must be supported by including working life contents in teaching. During workplace learning periods in vocational training, more attention must be paid to the quality of guidance so that the period actually develops the student’s professional skills and gives working life competence. In this, one key factor is cooperation between educational institutions and companies. Similar opportunities must be introduced in general upper secondary school education, for example, by implementing the introduction period to working life familiar from basic education, which can be completed either in the working life, higher education or both. This helps to break prejudices and the distance to the working and everyday life in institutions of higher education. Also other models of studying must be utilised.

Apprenticeship training has been proven to be a good method of acquiring a vocational upper secondary qualification. Apprenticeship training complements basic vocational education and training well and brings more flexibility to it. In apprenticeship training, about 70-80 percent of the training takes place at a workplace. Apprenticeship training can be preparatory education for vocational upper secondary qualifications, further vocational qualifications or specialist vocational qualifications completed as competence-based qualifications. Also education not leading to a qualification may be pursued as apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship training is also suitable for those dreaming of the career of an entrepreneur, as also entrepreneurs can train themselves through apprenticeship training in their own company. The so-called 2+1 model, where a young person completes the first two study years normally in an educational institution but completes the final year as a paid apprenticeship trainee at a work place, must be developed. The apprenticeship training model should be developed forward to find all young people a natural way for educating themselves and developing their own skills.

The so-called supported apprenticeship training model must be developed especially for those young people who, for one reason or another, have not got an upper secondary level education. However, we are concerned about the training agreement model presented by the Government, which at worst can lead to, for example, deterioration of the quality of education and dumping of young people’s wages. For young people, it would be wiser to concentrate on finding new solutions in the development of, for example, apprenticeship training, practical work training, and work trials. What could serve this goal is if a young person could make an apprenticeship training contract with more than one employer and the guidance burden of the employers would be shared. This would require developing the supervision of work further.

A functioning transition

It is regrettable how few find their way directly from the upper secondary level to higher education. Gap years are common, either unwillingly or on purpose. A gap year must not be a drop into the unknown: young people should be offered support also after the upper secondary level. The right to educational counselling must continue during the gap year. Whether it would be possible to implement education vouchers to support studies during the gap year, for example, in open university, will be evaluated.

The transition from the upper secondary to higher level must be made as smooth as possible. The number one prerequisite for this is to ensure that young people do not lose their eligibility for further studies even if they have used support services during their studies. Educational counselling must be of good quality and it must be invested in enough for young people to have the chance to get more personal guidance. In addition to educational counselling, students concretely need practical skills, for example, in the process of seeking work and utilising the services of Employment and Economic Development Centres. The average length of the careers of young adults with just comprehensive school education is about 25 years for men and 22 years for women. When they get at least an upper secondary education and degree, the careers of these people are lengthened approximately by over six years. The young adults' skills programme must continue and it should be developed so that it forms a kind of basic skills guarantee.

Supporting young people in preparatory education before vocational education and training or general upper secondary school is extremely important preventive work. If the beginning spiral of social exclusion of a young person can be stopped at this stage, the overall costs to society in the long run are significantly lowered, not to mention the positive impact on the young person's own well-being. Many young people would benefit if there were more practical work training or master-apprentice training models similar to apprenticeship training available.

MEASURES

  • Every young person is guaranteed a place in upper secondary level education as according to the education guarantee.
  • Apprenticeship training is developed also as a form of training for young people, and new flexible forms of completing apprenticeship training are developed.
  • The right to educational counselling must continue also during a gap year.
  • The possibility to implement an education voucher is explored to support studies for example in open university.
  • The 2+1 model is developed further.
  • The young adults' skills programme must be continued and reserved adequate funding.
  • More opportunities for practical work training or master-apprentice training models similar to apprenticeship training are made available.
  • The young adults' skills programme must continue and it should be developed so that it forms a kind of basic skills guarantee.

A SUMMER JOB FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE

SDP's goal is that every young person in Finland who so wants would, in the future, get a summer job. This programme could be implemented with broad cooperation, in which also industry and business associations, as well as labour market, regional, and third sector partners would participate by signing a summer job petition and a cooperation commitment to open up summer jobs for young people. Summer jobs require an active role also from municipalities and schools, for example, in searching and coordinating the summer jobs offered to young people.

Young people value work and are curious and interested in exploring working life in upper comprehensive school, upper secondary level education and at the polytechnic and university stage.

Young people are often forced to take a stand on their future choice of vocational path at a very early stage in their life. This concerns particularly young people applying to upper secondary level education. The working life cooperation between schools and different fields should be strengthened also so that young people would get an image as realistic as possible of the working life, the everyday life of workplaces and the rules - rights and responsibilities - that you must know and follow in the working life.

Young people getting a chance to get a summer job is an excellent way to implement the measures described here. Finland also has a long tradition in companies' capacity to offer young people summer jobs and practical work training related to studies.

To ensure motivation in practical work training and accurate image of the relation of work and pay, labour market organisations should agree upon pay regulations for training work in collective agreements. Young people need work places and the working life, in turn, needs makers of the future - young people.

MEASURES

  • A summer job campaign together with industry and business associations, and labour market, regional, and third sector partners will be implemented.
  • The parties participating in the campaign will sign a summer job petition and a coopera- tion commitment to open up summer jobs for young people.
  • Summer jobs require an active role also from municipalities and schools in searching and coordinating the summer jobs.

HIGHER LEVEL AND EMPLOYMENT

In the future, know-how will create productivity and take care of the prerequisites of the welfare state. Every student who has completed the upper secondary level must have the opportunity to continue to higher level studies if they so wish. Society and, above all, every individual will lose a lot if people are forced to take a gap year after the upper secondary level.

The primary method is to alleviate the backlog of applicants. The number of training places and the resources of education must be increased. The needs of the working life must also be taken into account in the distribution of training places. The entrance examination system must be developed so that it is possible to get a study place without expensive preparatory courses.

Those who have discontinued their studies in higher education must be offered support, and it must be made easier to change one's own study path within an institution of higher education. Also, the accreditation of studies abroad or corresponding studies in other fields must be executed better than now. Resources must be concentrated on studying something new, not on constant compulsory revision of something already learned.

MEASURES

Bring a spring to studies in higher education

  • The goal is a zero tolerance on involuntary gap years. In other words, everyone who wants to continue onto further studies from the upper secondary level should be able to get a study place in higher education.
  • The primary method is to alleviate the existing backlog of applicants. However, this must not mean increasing the number of study places in higher education without increasing resources, which would deteriorate the quality of education. Also the needs of the working life must be taken into account when increasing the number of study places.
  • Transitions within and between institutions of higher education must be made easier. The accreditation of studies abroad or corresponding studies in other fields works poorly at the moment. The working life readiness of students in higher education and their opportunities to get a work place in their own field must be supported: for example the possibilities for practical work training and studies preparing for the working life must be increased.
  • The entrance examination system must be developed so that it is possible to get a study place without expensive preparatory courses. Glass ceilings must be removed; it must be possible for those who have completed vocational school to apply to also universities, not only polytechnics.
  • The share of those who have completed vocational training within applicants to polytechnics must be increased and the opportunities to further studies must be supported. The number of drop-outs in higher education should be decreased to a minimum. For example support regarding the first year of studies must be developed.
  • Students in higher education may have various learning difficulties. Support and guidance with them must be invested in.

EMPLOYMENT AFTER STUDIES

The purpose of the youth guarantee, in addition to raising the level of education and emphasizing lifelong learning, is to support the employment and inclusion of young people. The employment of young people needs more weight in the youth guarantee. So that finding their way into the working life after studies would be as smooth as possible, young people must have the right to educational counselling also after graduating from the upper secondary level. Also a possibility, similar to VALO coaching, to do partial degrees must be kept in the range of means in cases when employment in one's own field is challenging.

We must make sure that young people are offered low-threshold services, such as one-stop guidance, to support them to identify their own career path in this transition stage. There are several associations in our country that can take some of the responsibility for the functions of the youth guarantee. We must be able to utilise the possibilities of electronic services, too. Approachable services independent of time and place can be offered, for example, by enabling remote educational counselling and remote work counselling. Thus the reach of the services can be enhanced and the threshold for asking for help lowered.

The Sanssi card and entrepreneur workshops in the tool kit

Finding employment is a long path that starts already during studies. Young people must be offered opportunities to familiarise with the working life already during their studies and thus give them a realistic image of the future field and the working life in general. In addition to working life introduction and training periods, new, natural places for cooperation between the working life and educational institutions as well as institutions of higher education must be found. We must examine, whether work counselling that takes place in work places could be offered partially with government funding so that it would inspire and encourage supporting and guiding young people. Securing personnel resources in the guidance work of working life periods is important.

One way to support the employment of young people is to offer support and counselling in entrepreneurship through the national entrepreneur workshop activity. Experiences from the entrepreneurial paths for young unemployed have been encouraging and also received international attention.

The duration of young people's unemployment has been shorter than unemployment in average, but now it has increased worryingly. The Sanssi card employment voucher is a good way to help a young person toward the working life. The Sanssi card must continue to be available to young people so that with the help of the card, a young person's unemployment could be ended within no more than three months of its beginning. A good plan of integration into working life must be drafted to young unemployed people, together with themselves, immediately, no later than in two weeks from the beginning of the unemployment. This means that the funding of the Sanssi card must be guaranteed as part of the funding of the youth guarantee. The best results in young people's integration into working life have been reached so that a functioning network of local parties has been gathered and it has committed to good cooperation with young people. Good results have been reached when the doors of companies have simply been opened, hidden jobs have been sought and companies have been told about the support and other services that they get when they hire a young person or organise practical work training and apprenticeship training. With this model, Pohjois-Savo has reached the best results of all regions in ending youth unemployment.

In addition to periods of work experience and working life practice, new, natural places of cooperation must be found between the working life and educational institutions and institutions of higher education. Young people completing their practice must not end up as free workforce in the labour market. Instead, they must get a compensation for their work effort in the training defined in the collective labour agreements or public-service collective agreements of the field in question.

Labour market organisations should take initiative, too

In addition to the measures of the youth guarantee, it is recommendable that labour market organisations, for their part, seek joint solutions to enhance the employment of young people. The cross-industry trade unions and various industry federations should draft common ground rules and agreement solutions to promote the employment of young people and secure training posts. For example the common agreement about a path to the labour market for young people without vocational training in the building industry is one example of a solution suitable for this field.

MEASURES

  • The possibility, similar to VALO coaching, to do partial degrees must be kept in the youth guarantee tool kit.
  • In the transition period after the upper secondary level, young people must be offered low-threshold services, also electronic ones, to help them find their career path.
  • The Sanssi card employment voucher must continue to be available to young people to promote their employment. It must be investigated if work counsellors and employees at work places could be paid a compensation for guidance work by the state.
  • A good plan of integration into working life must be drafted with young unemployed people immediately, no later than in two weeks from the beginning of the unemployment.
  • New, natural places for cooperation must be found between the working life and educational institutions and institutions of higher education.
  • Support and counselling must be offered for entrepreneurship nationally through entrepreneurial workshops.
  • The cross-industry trade unions and various industry federations should draft common ground rules and agreement solutions to promote the employment of young people and secure training posts.
  • Young people must get a compensation for their work effort in the training defined in the collective labour agreements or public-service collective agreements of the field in question.

EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO RECREATION

Differences in school performance are ever more often dependent on the socio-economic background of the parents of a child and time outside of the school. Not all children have the chance to have hobbies and develop themselves in a controlled environment in their spare time, as hobbies have got immensely more expensive. In all of Finland, there are 126,000 disadvantaged children, more than there are inhabitants in Lahti. Families who took an interest in exercise had an average annual income of 87,000 euros in 2014. Only a third of families reach this level in Finland.

Based on a study by the Research Foundation for Studies and Education (2016), it is known that having hobbies is a significant resource in study performance. Hobbies develop social and cognitive skills, train knowledge and skills, and help to recognise one's own strengths in addition to promoting well-being. Hobbies have a key significance in preventing the hereditary nature of education and social exclusion. That is why the opportunities of disadvantaged children to recreational activities must be supported. Society's task is to secure every young person the possibility for hobbies. The chance to good quality and supervised hobbies, where children can improve themselves irrespective of their family's wealth, must be secured for all children.

The Sports Act that came into effect in 2015 highlights the promotion of parity and equality. This should also reach culture and arts. When allocating public funds, it should be made sure that inexpensive hobbies, too, are available. The hobbies of children and youngsters from families with a low income could be helped by allocating support for hobby costs according to nationally uniform principles.

Activities for the whole village

Development of social skills, gaining information, and sharing communal experiences build a strong community of tomorrow. When guaranteeing a hobby for every child, for example youth associations, schools, village committees, neighbourhood networks, and parents should be involved in addition to hobby clubs. It would be paramount to create a concept that would be easy to implement in every municipality utilising the existing resources. Such solutions could include, for example, the integrated school day, in which pupils would have the chance to participate in extracurricular activity after their lessons. Municipalities could also give or let for example school premises and support services to hobby groups at nights and weekends. Also an exercise voucher developed for all young people could be one way of supporting the hobby opportunities of young people.

MEASURES

  • Every child and young person must have the opportunity for high-quality, supervised hobbies.
  • In addition to hobby clubs, also e.g. youth associations, schools, village committees, neighbourhood networks, and parents should be involved in developing recreational activities.
  • For example the integrated school day, in which pupils would have the chance to participate in extracurricular activity in the school premises after their lessons could be one way of offering hobby opportunities.
  • Municipalities could give or let at an affordable price school premises and support services to hobby groups at nights and weekends.
  • An exercise voucher developed for all young people could be one way of supporting the hobby opportunities of young people.

FACTS

Youth homelessness:

  • Homelessness in general is declining in Finland.
  • At the end of 2015, there were almost 7,900 homeless people.
  • Nearly every fourth homeless person was under 25 years of age.
  • Compared to 2014, youth homelessness increased.
  • Youth homelessness increased particularly much in Helsinki.

Source: Finnish Youth Cooperation – Allianssi: Young People in Finland

THE RIGHT TO A HOME

Statistically, young people in Finland move away from home relatively early. We are eager to prove that we can make it, and moving to your own home is one way of showing independence. People also move because of their studies. Leaving home early may leave a young person alone with the challenges of everyday life. Even though homelessness has been declining in Finland, youth home-
lessness has been rising.

According to the housing first principle, housing is a basic right and housing matters must be in order so that a person’s other issues can be dealt with. Young people’s housing is promoted and homelessness prevented by enhancing housing support services, increasing the production of truly affordable rental housing, and promoting the availability of private rental housing to young people. Services are an important target for development: by increasing and enhancing them, the conditions for young people to both get and keep housing get better. One such service is, for example, housing advice. Also cross-sectoral forms of cooperation must be invested in. The current housing and everyday life situation must be checked in all service encounters with young people.

In 2014, almost one in four homeless people were young. A young person must have a home for the youth guarantee to be realised. A young person without a home cannot properly study, rehabilitate or find employment. For these young people to get a fair chance to get ahead in life, their homeless must be solved first.

MEASURES

  • A housing guarantee is included in the youth guarantee, which consist of:
    • a service package based on the youth service guarantee of the new Social Welfare Act, which offers the possibility to use a personal worker, an evaluation of service needs, and good availability of services that support everyday life.
    • a state guarantee system, which enables a rent guarantee and a home insurance also for young people who are homeless or under the threat of homelessness and are in a difficult financial situation.
  • Youth homelessness is prevented by enhancing housing support services, increasing the production of affordable rental housing, and by promoting the availability of private rental housing for young people.
  • Services, such as housing advice, the increase and enhancement of which will enhance the possibilities of young people to both get and keep housing, must still be developed.
  • The current housing and everyday life situation must be checked in all service encounters with young people.

SERVICE GUARANTEE AND LOCAL COOPERATION MODELS

The service guarantee related to the youth guarantee means a promise to young people that they are supported in the transitions of life and that they get the help they need from one place. In practice, this means that while they are in early childhood education, children have the early childhood education professionals and their expertise to support them. During comprehensive school, kids are supported by the seamless cooperation of the school and the social and health services of the municipality. When transferring to upper secondary education and in higher education, young people get the support through the measures of the traditional youth guarantee. They are entitled to the same support also when they graduate and require help in finding employment. Young people in upper secondary level education are also supported in planning their further education, if needed.

FACTS

Workshops

  • Supervised and supported working and a tailored path to education, finishing it or employment in the open labour market.
  • The main task is to support young people’s life skills, social empowerment, early support, and communal growth and learning by doing at their own pace.
  • In 2015, there were workshops in 267 municipalities, and 14,733 young people under the age of 29 participated in them.
  • After the workshop period, 75 percent of the young people found a place in education, work or other active function.

Source: Finnish Youth Cooperation – Allianssi: Young People in Finland

Ohjaamo one-stop guidance service

The one-stop guidance service Ohjaamo that was started during the previous Government's term offers low-threshold services for young people under the age of 30, giving guidance, information and crosssectoral support. The goal of the services is to promote youth employment and education and be there to support and clarify a young person's own path.

In November 2016, there are already nearly 40 Ohjaamo one-stop guidance centres in different parts of Finland and the activity reaches nearly 100 municipalities. New projects are being started broadly in the areas of South Ostrobothnia and Satakunta. The development of the one-stop guidance services is managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and done in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the Ministry of Finance. The one-stop guidance centres are one of the implementation methods of the key project of 'youth guarantee toward community guarantee' in the Government Programme. Young people seek very different services and various information from the one-stop guidance centres. They concern, in particular, labour and employment services, study and career choices, economic and financial advice, support for their plans for the future, support in relationships, health services, and help in problems with studies. The functioning of the one-stop guidance services must be developed and their funding must be guaranteed in the future, too.

The challenges in managing one's finances may grow unnoticed and disable the entire everyday life. A non-payment record and quick loan debts may, at worst, exclude people from the working life. There is a particularly great need for economic advice services for young people.

The health and social services reform that reorganises social and health services and their production must not fragment the youth guarantee or the services that young people get. At best, the health and social services reform could give the chance to examine and develop the range of services for young people, but the model currently proposed by the Government, on the contrary, threatens to dismantle the service packages for young people. Young people's strength should not be wasted on futile bureaucracy, and instead of a tangle with service providers, young people must be able to get the services they need from one place. In practice this means that young people cannot be required to choose which service provider they use, and when they come to one service provider, for example to a youth clinic or educational counsellor, their needs are treated as a whole and taken on by a cross-sectoral team of experts from the very first contact onward. Thus a young person does not need to contact, for example, a youth clinic, a health centre and an employment office separately, but rather one contact starts a process with the officials that maps out all the services that the person needs and guidance to them.

FACTS

Ohjaamo one-stop guidance services

  • A low-threshold cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary guidance service for people under the age of 30.
  • Guides young people in matters related to work, education or rehabilitation.
  • The goal is that the one-stop guidance centre supports a young person until a more long-term solution is found for the situation.
  • The one-stop guidance centres bring together municipalities’ social and health services, educational departments, departments of youth services, Employment and Economic Development Offices, Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland), educational institutions, the 3rd sector and the clients.
  • In November 2016, there were already nearly 40 one-stop guidance centres in Finland.
  • The goal is that there would be a one-stop guidance centre in all of the biggest towns in Finland.
  • In the first half of 2016, there were altogether around 36,000 visits to the one-stop guidance centres by young people. The biggest client group were young people between the ages of 18 to 24.

Source: Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment

The key services of the one-stop guidance centres are:

  • social work and counselling
  • outreach youth work
  • employment and economic development services
  • educational institutions/educational counselling
  • youth services
  • workshops/job coaching, other training for work activity
  • health services
  • information and guidance services for young people
  • one-stop services

MEASURES

  • The operation of the one-stop guidance services must be developed and their funding must be secured also in the future.
  • Instead of a tangle with service providers, young people must be able to get the services they need from one place.

THE YOUTH GUARANTEE - FINLAND'S INNOVATION EXPORTED INTO EUROPE

Finland's youth guarantee model has also gained international attention. Finland's youth guarantee was an important example when the targets of a common youth guarantee were built on the EU level and the decision was made to take nationally distributed funding into the EU budget. Youth guarantee solutions suitable for national conditions were made in all EU countries based on it.

Youth unemployment has been alarmingly high in many EU countries. In the EU, there are a bit over 20.7 million unemployed people, of which over 4.1 million are under the age of 25, according to Eurostat. (August 2016).

MEASURES

  • The objective is that the youth guarantee is supported and developed as a part of European employment policy and it is reserved adequate financial resources in both the EU and national budgets.
  • Finland must be active in the EU to develop the work and education opportunities of young people and in applying good practices from other countries also in Finland.
  • SDP is active in its own European framework by being a pioneer that takes initiative in advancing the youth guarantee.

THE WORLD CAN BE CHANGED. ALL YOU NEED IS BRAVE PEOPLE.