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Company-oriented career coaching in the field of tourism

The tourism industry in northern Finland suffers from a lack of workforce, especially during the tourist seasons. The Polku project ('Pathway') planned a career coaching programme in the field of tourism to enable the workers and the work to match. The career coaching was implemented in cooperation with local entrepreneurs. The aim was to guarantee a job in the tourism industry for all participants.

Implementation of the good practice 

The objective of the career coaching in the field of tourism was employment. The coach started one of the courses by saying: "Our aim is that all of you will find employment after this career coaching". The career coaching was intended for persons with a long history of unemployment, especially for jobseekers aged under 30 and over 54. No prior education or training in the field of tourism was required from the participants.

The career coaching in the field of tourism was implemented just before the beginning of the high season. The best time to offer familiarisation and work try-out placements and the time when the entrepreneurs would need to employ people were determined in an open dialogue with the entrepreneurs.

The career coaching in the field of tourism was implemented as periods. In addition to career and job search guidance, the periods included familiarisation with the work, a work try-out and a follow-up period. The content of the career coaching was as follows:

  • local knowledge
  • customer service
  • cleaning and tidying up
  • serving tasks
  • assisting tasks in the catering sector.

The work try-out places and the topics of familiarisation had been arranged with different companies in advance. During the familiarisation period, the participants had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the tasks in the field of tourism and then choose the most suitable work try-out place for them.

The workplaces had invested in providing a familiarisation with the work tasks and took into account the individual personalities and strengths of the persons completing familiarisation periods and work try-outs. The places for the familiarisation and work try-outs were arranged in companies that genuinely had a need to recruit workforce for the following winter season.

A clear date of employment increased the participants' motivation for the career coaching.


  • The work and the workers were matched just before the high season in an industry that suffers from a lack of workforce
  • New strong contacts improved participants' opportunities to find employment in the industry immediately after the coaching
  • The timing just before the high season was successful
  • Some of the participants have started vocational education or training in the tourism industry.

How to take advantage of the good practice

  • In addition to the tourism industry, strong cooperation with employers and structured career coaching is also well suited for other industries suffering from a lack of workforce
  • Pay attention to the timing of the coaching
  • Pay attention to the participants' further paths.


Tiina Pulju, Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, tel. +358 295 037 112,  tiina.pulju(at)ely-keskus.fi  

Web site: Polku-hanke (Työelämälähtöiset palvelupolut työllistämisen tukena), (http://www.ely-keskus.fi/web/ely/lappi-polkuhanke#.WRlAAcuweUk , inn Finnish)

Further information on the project: 

Structural Fund Information Service S20271
Priority axis 3. Employment and labour mobility 
Specific objective 6.1 Promoting the employment of young people and those in a weak position in the job market