Seasonal worker shortage tackled in cooperation with employment services and the Töitä Suomesta online service
The coronavirus crisis is making it difficult to find employees for rural areas. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) are collaborating on finding solutions to ensure a sufficient labour force for businesses in rural areas. Cooperation between employment services and the Töitä Suomesta (Work in Finland) online service is key to success.
Labour shortages in rural areas are getting worse because the coronavirus outbreak is making it impossible for 16,000 foreign seasonal workers to enter the country. According to a government decision, 1,500 seasonal workers can be employed to work in jobs in agriculture, forestry and fisheries that are critical to the security of supply.
– This means that there will be a great demand for domestic seasonal employees and this is why we are examining a whole range of measures to resolve the problem,” says Permanent Secretary Jaana Husu-Kallio from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Public employment services play a central role in matching seasonal work and seasonal employees. The Employment and Economic Development Offices are getting support in this task from an online service, www.töitäsuomesta.fi, that is maintained by various organisations. This online portal provides help to rural businesses and jobseekers and it is safe and free for all users.
– Cooperation with those who are familiar with rural businesses is essential. This is why, we are very happy that the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), ProAgria and the Finnish Village Movement Association (Suomen Kylät ry) have put a lot of effort into the Töitä Suomesta website and into a related company. By working together with them, the regional Employment and Economic Development Offices can help rural businesses,” says Migration Director Sonja Hämäläinen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The fast and unpredictable progress of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a crisis for many rural businesses. The situation has called for rapid action and broad-based cooperation. The need for national-level coordination has been recognised especially in the agricultural sector. The Töitä Suomesta service (www.töitäsuomesta.fi) and a recently established company, Töitä Suomesta Oy, are addressing this need. Funding for the development of services to alleviate labour shortages because of the coronavirus crisis has been made available via the Rural Development Programme.
– I am pleased that our three major rural organisations were able to come together quickly and make a decision on the setting up of Töitä Suomesta Oy. This will enable us to hire regional employment and economic development officials and to benefit from the organisations’ broad range of expertise and national networks. In this way, we can ensure that support can be made available across the country. Additionally, we will have flexible means for addressing special needs, such as charter flights for foreign seasonal employees,” says Director of Economic Development Marko Mäki-Hakola from the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK).
Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 400 291 910
Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 112
Marko Mäki-Hakola, Director of Economic Development, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), tel. +358 40 502 6810