07/05/2019 - Finland must make every effort to streamline the benefit system and encourage young jobseekers to look for work in order to reduce the share of under-30 year-olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs), according to a new OECD report.
Investing in Youth: Finland says that youth employment rates (55%) are above the OECD average (53%), but lower than other Nordic countries. But the unemployment rate among 15-29-year olds reached 15% in 2017, seventh highest in the OECD area.
With a strong demand for high-skilled workers and persistent shortages in high-skilled jobs, low-skilled youth struggle in the Finnish labour market. Young people who failed to complete upper secondary education account for nearly half of all NEETs.
Despite the outstanding performance of the Finnish education system, there is room to raise completion rates in upper secondary education. In particular, one in four vocational students do not obtain their upper secondary degree within two years after expected graduation.
Finland has one of the most selective higher education systems in the OECD, with 67% of applicants rejected each year, compared with an OECD average of 30%. This delays the start of studies for many and forces applicants to take unwanted gap years. Only 25% of upper secondary graduates manage to start their tertiary studies immediately after graduation.
Finland also has one of the most generous benefit systems for young people among OECD countries: one in three young Finns receive an out-of-work benefit, the second highest share in the OECD. The wide range of benefits and services help young people face economic and labour market challenges, but they also create considerable disincentives to seek work and leave benefit.
Among the report’s recommendations to help young people in Finland into work are to:
Investing in Youth: Finland is available at http://oe.cd/youth-finland.
Youth employment is one of the key issues of the OECD’s broader “I am the Future of Work” campaign, which aims to contribute to a positive future of work transition, helping to transform learning and social protection systems as well as reducing inequalities between people and across regions. See http://futureofwork.oecd.org.
For more information, journalists should contact Spencer Wilson (+33 1 4524 8118) in the OECD Media Office in Paris (+33 1 4524 9700).
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