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Activity ePass to be introduced for young people in grades 7–9

Ministry of Education and Culture 23.5.2018 9.57 | Published in English on 6.6.2018 at 12.53
Press release
Activity ePass to be introduced for young people in grades 7–9
Photo: Iina Berden/MEC

The Ministry of Education and Culture has launched a project where a new, nationwide Activity ePass intended for all young people in grades 7–9 will be designed. The objective is that young people could already next year download the new mobile application and start using the ePass with their own smartphones.

"This is a completely new way of supporting and promoting the engagement of young people in hobbies and other leisure activities. With the Activity ePass, young people will be able to, for example, access a swimming hall, train at a gym, participate in a photography course, or use other cultural, sports and youth services at a reasonable price or even completely free of charge. The ePass will provide young people with opportunities to try out different sports and cultural activities and visit museums, go to the movies or even watch an ice hockey game," says Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho.

"The purpose of the Activity ePass is to promote equality of opportunity: young people should be able to choose their hobbies and leisure activities based on their interests and time available, and the financial situation of their families should not be an issue," Minister Terho summarises.

Municipalities, companies, foundations, social services and associations may upload free visits and entrance tickets on the Activity ePass. Positive experiences gained from the successful Youth Pass project carried out in Pori have given impetus to the project. Promoting young people's opportunities to engage in different hobbies is a good way to prevent social exclusion, strengthen friendships among young people and boost their self-esteem. The Activity ePass is one of the Government's measures to promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people and part of the ministries' cooperation to reduce the number of NEET youth.

"I have called for more concrete measures to implement the hobby guarantee. Now this is what I call concrete. The Activity ePass will facilitate children’s and young people’s access to leisure activities. Municipalities may develop the ePass in accordance with the opportunities available in the local community and the ideas put forth by local operators. The idea for the project came from young people themselves and from similar regional applications already in use," says Minister Sampo Terho, who is responsible for youth affairs in the Government.

Young people’s engagement in leisure activities is often irregular and takes place among a group of friends. The Activity ePass aims to promote and encourage this kind of activity in a completely new manner. The ePass will provide its young users with a wide variety of opportunities in many different fields, while simultaneously providing many actors with new opportunities to help and support young people.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has launched a tendering process for the technical implementation of the Activity ePass. Companies and corporations wishing to take part in the process are asked to submit their requests to participate by 12.00 on Tuesday, 26 June. The tendering process will be carried out as a two-stage innovation partnership procedure, where a maximum of five proposals will first be selected among all participants for further development.

The operator awarded with the contract, to be announced in September, will carry out a pilot project testing the use of the Activity ePass in several municipalities during autumn 2018. The ePass will be ready for introduction in all municipalities next year. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the City of Helsinki will be responsible for the technical implementation of the Activity ePass.                                                                                                                               

The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, several municipalities and various national actors promoting the wellbeing and leisure activity of young people will also participate in the project. The Ministry will announce the cooperation partners and the composition of an expert group consisting of these within the next few weeks.

Inquiries:

Toni Ahva, Special Adviser, tel. + 358 2953 30340
Tiina Kivisaari, Director, tel. + 358 2953 30178