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PR(94)17: Surveillance Authority authorises aid schemes promoting employment of the young in Finland

15.10.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority today authorised two Finnish employment aid schemes which aim at combating youth unemployment. Having found that the schemes are ill line with the EEA provisions on State aid, the Authority has decided to authorise them under Article 61(3)(c) of the EEA Agreement. Both schemes are administered by the Ministry of Labour and are to remain in force only until the end of 1996.

The first scheme aims at improving the possibilities of young. persons to be employed after graduation from a vocational training institute or from university in jobs that correspond to their education. The subsidy is given in the form of a grant to an employer who employs people under 30 years of age with a basic vocational or with an academic degree. The aid may be given only for the first employment after graduation. The subsidy is a fixed monthly amount of F1M 3 500 per person covering part of the wage costs. The subsidy may be given for a maximum period of six months. The budget of the scheme for 1994 is F1M 100 million while in 1995‑1996 it is estimated to be F1M 300 million each year. It is estimated that ill 1994 the scheme would contribute to the employment of 6 500 young graduates, of which 4 500 in private enterprises. In 1995‑1996 the corresponding yearly number could be 20 000.  

The second scheme aims at increasing opportunities of the young unemployed for apprenticeship training. The aid is given in the form of a grant to an employer forming an apprenticeship contract (i) for vocational training with under 25‑year old, unskilled, unemployed young or (ii) for further training with under 30‑year old unemployed young that already have undergone a basic training. Aid can be granted for basic training for a maximum period of three years. For further training the aid may be given for a period of 4‑12 months. The monthly amount of the aid is FIM 1 500 per person for basic training while for further training it is FIM 2 500. It is estimated that in 1994 the scheme would contribute to 8 000 new apprenticeship training contracts, 3 000 being made with private companies. In 1995‑1996 the yearly number of contracts made could be around 12 000. The budget of the scheme for 1994 is F1M 68 million while in 1995‑1996 it is estimated to be about F1M 200 million each year.

In accordance with EEA rules on State aid, the Authority takes a favourable attitude towards aid schemes promoting employment which are designed not just to keep workers in employment but to encourage firms to create jobs for particular categories of workers who have special difficulty in finding employment, for example the young. The measures are further justified by the seriously difficult employment situation that young persons face ill Finland. In 1993 the unemployment rate among the young averaged 34%.

For further information please contact Maria Blässar (State Aid and Monopolies Directorate) on tel. 22 66 853.




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