Working capacity programme ends but some measures will continue in the new government term
The working capacity programme sought solutions to the known employment problems of people with impaired capacity to work in 2019–2023. At the same time, the programme developed more effective services to support working capacity. The final report of the working capacity programme contains information on the programme measures and their results.
The programme’s goal was to better identify the need to support the working capacity of people with impaired capacity to work, to provide them individual and timely services related to working capacity and employment, and to promote the creation of jobs for them.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health were responsible for the programme together and implemented it so that the measures of the administrative branches complemented each other. The programme was part of the employment measures of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government and its implementation was based on the Government Programme. The programme received a total funding of EUR 36 million.
In addition to the final report, Owal Group Oy is currently conducting an external evaluation of the programme, which will be completed in May.
Measures of the administrative branches supported one another
The six measures of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment focused on removing barriers to the employment of persons with impaired working capacity and on boosting employment. The measures included adding working capacity coordinators in TE Offices, carrying out eight TE service pilots across Finland, establishing Työkanava Ltd, employing people through public procurement, founding a centre of excellence for social enterprises, and improving the way the social impact of employment is measured.
The measures of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health developed the working capacity services in the wellbeing counties to support work ability and functional capacity and to promote employment. Another important measure of the Ministry was strengthening the competence of professionals in supporting working capacity by developing training modules. In total, the regions implemented 22 development projects funded by government grants. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (TTL) carried out an evaluation and follow-up study.
Some measures of the working capacity programme will continue in the new government term. For example, the national funding of the centre of expertise for social enterprises will continue until the end of 2023. The state-owned special assignment company Työkanava Ltd that gradually began its operations in 2022 is getting off to a good start. The wellbeing services counties will continue to disseminate and put into practice the operating models for supporting working capacity and employment as part of the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland.
Efforts to employ people with impaired working capacity continue
The unrealised labour input of people with impaired working capacity is estimated at EUR 1.3 billion per year. It is therefore important that the work to improve the employment of people with impaired working capacity continues in the future too.
Higher employment among people with impaired working capacity is a way to raise the employment rate. It can also help solve the problem of labour market mismatch. From a human perspective, increased working capacity supports and promotes equality and people’s participation in both working life and society as a whole.
Based on a labour force survey of Statistics Finland, about 65,000 people with impaired capacity to work, who are currently outside the labour market, would like to work and estimate that they have the capacity to work. There were around 30,000 unemployed jobseekers with a disability or long-term illness at the beginning of this year, according to the employment service statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. In reality, the number of jobseekers with impaired working capacity is certainly higher.
Kimmo Ruth, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 048 073, [email protected] (Working capacity programme measures in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
Niina Kovanen, Senior Specialist, Project Manager, tel. +358 295 163 726, [email protected], (Working capacity programme measures in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)