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Finland to establish state-owned company that will hire people with disabilities

Finland to establish state-owned company that will hire people with disabilities

The government seeks to create opportunities for individuals with reduced work capacity

By 2025, Finland hopes to have an employment rate of 75 percent. To achieve this ambitious goal, the government must focus on vulnerable groups and help them find employment. For this reason, it is currently working on a Work Ability Programme that seeks to promote the employment and resilience of people with disabilities and reduced working capacity.

Creating opportunities for all abilities

One of the measures in this programme is the establishment of a state-owned special-purpose company, Work Channel (Työkanava Oy). The role of this company will be to promote the employment of people who are disadvantaged and have disabilities.

While the government stressed that Work Channel must be seen as a last resort when all other attempts to find employment have failed, it also notes that the company would directly hire people who are at an extreme disadvantage. According to a press release, the most disadvantaged individuals are those with disabilities who are over the age of 55 and have low levels of employment.

“The right and opportunity to work according to one's abilities is important both for a person with a reduced work capacity and for the Finnish society as a whole. In the future, Työkanava Oy will be able to employ the most disadvantaged employees of this group. 

Their employment opportunities have not been significantly increased in the past through employment measures and services. The launch of the company's operations is also one indication that Finland is implementing its international obligations in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” commented the Minister of Labour Tuula Haatainen.

Work Channel will receive financing from the Finnish Sustainable Growth Programme in the form of a share capital worth EUR 20 million. Aside from this, it will have an annual budget of EUR 10 million and receive revenue from the sale of its services.

It is important to note that the Finnish government has drawn inspiration for the Work Channel from Sweden’s Samhall: a state-owned company that creates jobs for people with disabilities. With the establishment of such companies, the Scandinavian countries promote the creation of more sustainable and inclusive societies.

Work Channel will begin operating throughout Finland in 2022.

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