There have been claims in the public discussion that the youth guarantee entered in the government platform is not happening in practice. It seems that there are more critics than unemployed job applicants. But as we know, a positive and open-minded attitude and team spirit are keys to change and a good end result. The K-Group has been like the leader in a wedge of cranes, showing sceptics that the youth guarantee and employing young people do work in practice.
The K-Group officially started its own youth guarantee programme in August 2013. The summer was spent in creating info kits, establishing contacts and getting started to spread the youth guarantee message in high spirits. Loopholes were addressed immediately as they were recognised.
From August to March, more than 900 young people found their way into the K-Group through the youth guarantee. The total number of people under 30 years of age employed by the K-Group in August to December 2013 was some 3,600. Success has required continuous development not only in our operations but also in the operations of our partners. Honesty and open discussion have made it possible for the programme to go on and be successful.
Employment under the youth guarantee requires three parties: the coordinator, the retailer, and the contact at the TE Office. Three parties dedicated to help the job seeker. All parties support each other. Everyone does their own part well, and no one is left alone. Information sharing and bureaucracy have to be smooth and quick, because there is work waiting to be done.
We have established dedicated contacts in the TE Office for the K-Group to help employers find the best young person for the job. The same officer also supports in the pay subsidy process, among other things, to make sure the employment starts at the time agreed on.
Centralised operations for the youth guarantee have been created also within the K-Group. The coordinator collaborates with external and internal parties, acting as glue to connect the various parties and sharing information.
What matters is a successful outcome. Someone is found to do the work and a young person gets a chance to enter working life. Now many other companies and parties want to find out how to reach the goal and how we have achieved it in the K-Group.
The writer Johanna Kinnunen is project coordinator in the K-Group youth guarantee programme.