Kesko and K-stores launched K Group’s youth guarantee programme in 2013, with the objective of employing at least 1,000 young people in the target group by the end of 2014. This figure was met nearly twofold, and overall more than 3,000 young people have been employed under the operating model.
Over half of all K-retailer entrepreneurs in Finland have employed young people within the scope of the Youth Guarantee, mostly in K-food stores. K Group’s building and home improvement trade, speciality goods trade, car trade, and machinery trade also employ young people.
“Youth Guarantee works when you are willing to put in the effort. Close, smooth cooperation between employers and Finnish TE Offices has also been crucial. The target we set for the first year of our programme, employing 1,000 young people, was clearly exceeded. K-retailers and Kesko and its subsidiaries are firmly committed to employing young people,” says Matti Mettälä, EVP in charge of Human Resources at Kesko.
During the programme, K Group retailers and stores have utilised different means of employment, offering young people employment contracts, apprenticeship training and work trials.
“Offering employment to young people is a natural part of K Group’s actions towards corporate responsibility. We are particularly happy that the programme has seen the number of apprenticeship positions in our stores grow significantly,” says Mettälä.
“It’s important to give young people a chance,” says Taina Källi, the retailer of K-Rauta Järvenpää. Källi works together with e.g. the Järvenpää city unit in charge of young people and employment.
Källi provides an example: ”One girl first came to work at the cash register, and then moved on to a permanent position at our café. While working there, she has trained to become a chef.”
The retailer is happy with the support she has received from K Group regarding issues related to pay subsidies. This support has been crucial in making decisions on hiring young people. K Group will continue to provide support and expertise to Kesko managers and K-retailers on issues related to the employment of young people.