The Finnish government will launch negotiations with labour market organisations over measures to develop the skills of a large number of Finns to satisfy the ever-changing needs of labour markets.
The availability of skilled workers is billed to be one of the key issues discussed in the government’s upcoming framework session with estimates suggesting that up to a million employees and job seekers will require re-training over the next ten years.
The government has repeatedly expressed its concern with the fact that businesses are struggling to fill skilled labour even though the employment rate remains well above ten per cent in several municipalities.
The Federation of Finnish Enterprises, for example, has estimated that shortages of skilled labour are undermining the growth of more than a half of small and medium enterprises in Finland. The problem serious particularly in Greater Helsinki, Varsinais-Suomi and Ostrobothnia.
Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education, will sit down with labour market representatives in the near future to discuss how the massive re-training effort could be funded. The government is reportedly also intent on ensuring that all citizens have at least completed secondary education.
Education has been a hot political topic for the past couple of days after the opposition tabled an interpellation concerning the equality of education, marking already the fourth eduction-related interpellation of this electoral term. The government will respond to the interpellation on Wednesday, 28 February.
The issue will also be a key theme of the coalition talks launched after the next parliamentary elections, believes Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League and the first signatory of the latest education-related interpellation.
“Once the next coalition talks start, it’s a guarantee that education will be a major issue that'll no longer be about cuts but rather about big investments,” he said to Uusi Suomi on 9 February.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi