More help for people looking for work

More focused ways of getting unemployed people back to work are being developed in the reforms launched by the Ministry of Labour. According to the regional daily Turun Sanomat (9 July 2001), in an effort to encourage unemployed persons more active in their search for work, greater attention is being paid to re-education and state-subsidised jobs.

Looking for employment will be seen as a job for which one will be paid. The ministry's plans for next year include a scheme in which every unemployed person will be given a personal re-employment plan after five months of unemployment, if not earlier.

At the same time, monitoring of the scheme will be tightened. In order to be able to keep receiving their current unemployment benefit, the unemployed will have to prove that they have been participating in the courses included in the scheme and taking up state-subsidised jobs provided for them.

Turun Sanomat points out that currently only a quarter of the labour market support funds are being used for this kind of activisation of the unemployed. The rest goes on unemployment benefits.

The reforms are part of an attempt to reduce long-term unemployment which is already slowly diminishing. They also aim to reduce the cost of unemployment. About six per cent of Finns live on unemployment benefits.

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