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New employment areas seek cost efficiency through collaboration

Published: 18.4.2024

The employment directors and preparers of employment areas from Finland’s 23 largest cities (C23) are gathering in Vaasa this week, on April 18–19, 2024. The meeting will focus on discussing and outlining collaboration efforts.

This meeting is related to an extensive reform in employment areas, which will come into effect on January 1, 2025. In this reform, the responsibility for organising employment and vitality services will shift from the government to municipalities, resulting in the creation of 45 new employment areas in Finland. 

In Vaasa, the focus of the employment directors and preparers meeting is to outline themes where future employment areas can collaborate and pool their resources. This is how we create cost savings, says Virve Flinkkilä, Director of Wellbeing at the City of Vaasa. 

Working groups have prepared proposals for national service procurements, such as an orientation to the Finnish society for small language groups. Providing societal orientation for immigrants will become the responsibility of each municipality from 2025 onwards. Collaboration is also underway in the assessment of service production information system solutions. 

In addition, we are discussing whether it is appropriate for each employment area to manage highly specialised services, such as maritime employment exchange, or if one area could take responsibility and others could purchase the service from there, Flinkkilä ponders. 

Discussions are also being held on how cross-regional recruitments by major employers will be handled in the future. A decision on this is hoped for before the reform takes effect in 2025. Cooperation with welfare regions and increasing the employment rate are also topics of consideration at the meeting. 

The largest cities in the country form the C23 network, which includes Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Oulu, Turku, Jyväskylä, Lahti, Kuopio, Pori, Kouvola, Joensuu, Lappeenranta, Vaasa, Hämeenlinna, Seinäjoki, Rovaniemi, Mikkeli, Kotka, Salo, Porvoo, Kokkola, and Kajaani. The group of employment directors is now meeting face-to-face for the third time.