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Kohti työtä, a new path to employment for remote areas

The Kohti työtä training ('Towards employment') is targeted at those clients of employment services who have complex obstacles to finding employment and developing their competence.

In sparsely populated areas, people are at risk of becoming marginalised for geographic reasons. The clients of employment services include people of all ages. Many of them are living more than 100 km away from the municipal centre. Some working-age people have returned to their home region after having worked somewhere else and their social and working life networks have in the meanwhile withered away. The structural change has affected many jobseekers. They include women over 50 who used to work at their farms but who have due to urbanisation, the structural change in agriculture and the closing of their farms become unemployed. 

On the one hand, we have clients who are in a difficult situation in which they need guidance and support from different perspectives in their career planning. In addition, they need support in defining the objectives of developing their competence.

On the other hand, the reform of vocational education and training has brought new opportunities to remote areas. The development of competence no longer requires full-time studying in an educational institution but can take place during a work period in rehabilitative work activities, for example.

The Kohti työtä training provides the client with information on new study opportunities, an initial push and the motivation to start studying, even if this is in smaller amounts in the beginning. The client's prior learning is identified and the studies are personalised. Through pedagogisation of work, it is possible to plan tailored training and employment paths for the client.

Implementation of the good practice

Clients are directed to the Kohti työtä training through development projects, rehabilitative work activities or the TE Office. The common objective is to help clients make progress in the development of their competence or on their path to employment.

At the beginning of the training, we survey the client's capacities to find employment and study. In the training, we draw up a further plan towards employment or vocational education and training for the student-client. Students familiarise themselves with the vocational qualifications that they are interested in and the work tasks in their fields of interests. They also visit companies.

The structure of the training is the following:

  • The training lasts for a total of 60 days
  • Contact teaching is provided on 25 days
  • On-the-job-learning or training trials take place on 35 days.

After the Kohti työtä training, the student can complete a part of a vocational qualification or the entire vocational qualification as labour market training, apprenticeship or independent study.


  • Clients' social participation increased
  • Attitudes towards studying improved
  • A further path to employment or studies was found for the majority of the students
  • After the training, some of the students found employment in the companies in which they completed their on-the-job-learning period
  • The good practice helped local companies in their recruitment problems
  • Cooperation between the authorities intensified and networks were used better in the work with clients
  • The Kohti työtä training has also been procured to other municipalities in the county of Kainuu.

How to take advantage of the good practice

The Kohti työtä training is suitable for sparsely populated areas and regions undergoing a structural change. The training is suitable for persons with complex obstacles to finding employment or developing their competence.


Anja Pääkkönen, Kainuu Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, tel. +358 29 5023 581, anja.paakkonen(at)ely-keskus.fi

Web sites:

Hyvä arki -hanke (www.hyvaarki.fi, in Finnish)

Edukai, Education Company (www.edukai.fi, in Finnish)

Further information on the project:

Structural Fund Information Service S20792
Priority axis 5. Social inclusion and combating poverty
Specific objective 10.1 Improving the ability of those outside working life to work and function