On 5 June 2023, the Vaasa City Board decided that Vaasa would be the only municipality in the Ostrobothnia region that met the criteria for organising the employment area as a responsible municipality. In this model, employment services can be built into a system that benefits all municipalities and serves the clients in the most optimal way.
Vaasa has approached all municipalities in Ostrobothnia and hopes that as many municipalities as possible in Ostrobothnia will join in.
– The municipalities have been willing to negotiate an employment area for the whole of Ostrobothnia but are also considering other options in their own areas. Laihia has also expressed interest in the option of negotiating directly with Vaasa,” says Mayor Tomas Häyry.
The proposal to the City Council is that Vaasa would be responsible for organising the employment area and that a joint decision-making body representing all municipalities in the area would be set up for the employment services, in accordance with the Local Government Act.
– Unemployment and the costs of managing it in the Ostrobothnia region are concentrated particularly in Vaasa. As Vaasa accounts for about half of the costs, we want to have a significant influence on both the service and cost structure,” says Häyry.
Final decisions on the regions will be taken by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Municipalities must submit their cooperation agreements to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy by 31 October 2023. The following municipalities have applied to join the Ostrobothnia Employment Area organised by Vaasa: Laihia, Vöyri, Mustasaari, Maalahti, Korsnäs, Närpiö, Kristiinankaupunki, and Uusikaarlepyy. Other municipalities in the Pietarsaari region are still considering setting up their own employment area, and in the Southern Ostrobothnia region, Kaskinen has decided to join the Suupohja koulutuskuntayhtymä Vuoksi employment area.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (TEM) will consider the agreements in November 2023. In areas where the criteria are met but there is uncertainty in neighbouring areas, an employment area will be formed by a government decision – this also applies to Ostrobothnia. This means that the establishment of the employment area may be delayed until the end of February 2024.
Preparations will start with those municipalities that during October will express their willingness to join the employment area organised by Vaasa, in accordance with the agreement and the organisation plan to be approved by the Council.
– We are also ready to negotiate with other municipalities that are willing to join the Ostrobothnia employment area organised by Vaasa,” says Häyry.
The agenda of the City Council (in Finnish) can be found at: https://tweb.vaasa.fi/ktwebscr/epj_asil_tweb.htm?bid=16854