Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, called attention to the need to take further action to address the labour market mismatch in discussing the central government budget for 2019 in the Finnish Parliament on Tuesday.
“Our situation is indeed quite unusual,” he summarised.
“Recent news about how the employment situation has developed have been disconcerting in the sense that even though we’re set to meet the ambitious employment rate target of 72 per cent, we’re simultaneously hearing about a lack of skilled workers from businesses in various parts, or rather all over Finland.”
Orpo highlighted that while roughly 40 per cent of businesses have stated that they are affected by the skills shortage, there are roughly 270,000 unemployed job seekers and tens of thousands of job openings in Finland.
The Finnish government is duly proposing in its supplementary budget that an additional 40 million euros be allocated for measures to mitigate the labour market mismatch and, thereby, promote employment. The budget appropriation will enable the government to train and provide education opportunities to 1,600–2,400 people, according to Orpo.
“This is precisely the kind of targeted measure that we’ve introduced and will continue to introduce, so that, step by step, as many Finns without a job as possible get a chance to find work and take responsibility for themselves, their loved ones and their family, as well as escape from poverty and hopelessness,” he said.
The Social Democratic Party wasted no time in reminding that the government has previously made considerable cuts in education spending.
“Minister Orpo is now bragging how the government is targeting 40 million euros for this in the supplementary budget. That’s good, but the logic seems to be that you’re returning 5–10 million euros after cutting 100 million euros,” slammed Jukka Gustafsson (SDP), a member of the Parliament’s Education Committee.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi