Policies and development related to youth affairs
The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the overall development of youth work and youth policy. The aim of youth policy is to improve the conditions in which young people grow up and live in and to enhance interaction between the generations through intersectoral cooperation. The objective of youth work is to support young people in growing and transitioning into independent life and to promote their participation in society.
The Ministry strives to support young people in growing up and gaining independence, promote their active citizenship and social empowerment, and improve the environment in which they grow up and their living conditions.
The development of youth policy issues is informed by the Government Programme, the National Youth Work and Policy Programme as well as other strategies and implementation plans of the Government, including the Government Programme’s key projects.
The National Youth Work and Policy Programme
The National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme (VANUPO) is a statutory cross-sectoral programme adopted by the Finnish Government every four years. Its aim is to promote young people’s growth and living conditions. In the programme, the Government defines its youth policy objectives for the government term. The programmes are adopted as government resolutions.
The current Youth Act (1285/2016) constitutes the legal basis for the programme. Owing to the transitional provision included in the Act, the present programme is drawn up for the period 2017–2019. The provision concerning the programme, section 5 of the Youth Act, is supplemented by the Government Decree on Youth Work and Policy (211/2017), which entered into force on 13 April 2017.
As defined in the Decree, the National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme coordinates the objectives and measures determined by the key ministries for promoting young people’s growth and living conditions and designed to contribute to the attainment of the objectives defined in section 2 of the Youth Act during the programme period. In addition, the programme sets out the guidelines for supporting youth work and related activities, including the key criteria for eligibility for state aid by national youth work centres of expertise pursuant to section 19 of the Youth Act. The programme also establishes the national objectives for youth activities in the European and international context.
- The National Youth Work and Policy Programme 2017-2019, adopted in October 12, 2017
- The main contents of the Programme
Two Development Programmes for Child and Youth Policy (LANUKE programmes) were adopted under the previous Youth Act. These development programmes contained the national objectives of youth policy and provided guidelines for work related to youth policy programmes in the Regional State Administrative Agencies and municipalities. Programme implementation is assessed by the State Youth Council (previously known as the Advisory Council for Youth Affairs). The validity of the programme adopted for 2012-2015 was extended until the end of 2016.
- Development Programme for Child and Youth Policy 2012-2015 (PDF)
- Development Programme for Child and Youth Policy 2007-2011 (PDF)
One of the key projects of the current Government Programme is developing the Youth Guarantee towards a community guarantee in which responsibility for a young person in need of support is allocated to a single place.
This key project contains the following actions:
- The Youth Guarantee will be developed into a model in which responsibility for a young person in need of support is allocated to a single place, and outreach youth work will be strengthened. Cooperation between the public, private and third sector in efforts to support young people will be intensified. The best practices of the Youth Guarantee will be utilised, and the most effective elements will be adopted across the country.
- All comprehensive school graduates will be guaranteed a place in education.
- Social welfare, health care and mental health care services for young people will be strengthened, and the availability of rehabilitation will be guaranteed.
- Job seeker coaching activities will be strengthened, and pay subsidies for young people and the Sanssi card will be developed in order to make work more attractive.
Programme to address child and family services
The Government Programme includes a key project whose aim is to integrate services for children, young people and families into a consistent whole. Basic services will be strengthened, and the focus will be shifted towards preventive work as well as early support and care services.
The project will also model and deploy the assessment of impacts on children and families.
While this key project will be jointly implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Education and Culture, the main responsibility for its coordination will be assumed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
State Youth Council
Pursuant to section 6 of the Youth Act, a State Youth Council (previously known as the Advisory Council for Youth Affairs) shall operate in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The members of the Council are appointed by the Government.
The tasks of the State Youth Council are:
- to address issues of far-reaching and fundamental importance for young people and to assess the impacts of central government measures on young people and the services and activities targeted at them;
- to submit initiatives and proposals aiming to develop youth policy;
- to produce up-to-date information on young people and their living conditions;
- to issue a statement to the Ministry of Education and Culture on matters to be included in the National Child and Youth Policy Programme;
- to monitor international development and cooperation in the sector.