Finland: Peak-level organisations propose a new on-the-job learning model

The peak-level labour-market organisations have proposed maintaining existing apprenticeship schemes and creating a new form of on-the-job learning. ​

Currently, students doing apprenticeships are hired on employment contracts and paid a salary, and must be registered at a vocational school. Finland will maintain such apprenticeships; in addition, however, a new model for on-the-job learning is to be introduced. In this model, students must still register at a vocational school, but no employment relationship is established with the employer. Therefore, students will not be paid, an approach that until recently the blue-collar Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) had rejected. In addition, fast-track models of vocational training (combining skills training and language learning) are proposed for immigrants, to facilitate their transition into working life; concrete proposals are in development and are to be presented later in the year.

The reform of second-cycle vocational education, including greater use of apprenticeships and on-the-job learning, is one of the Sipilä Government’s 26 key projects. The reform, to be executed in 2018, is intended to speed up school-to-work transitions and so contribute to improving the economy. In the meantime, vocational education funding is to be cut by €248 million between 2016 and 2018.

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