Through youth work and youth policy, the central government and the municipalities work to improve young people’s living conditions and encourage the young to engage in civic activities.
The Ministry of Education and Culture prepares issues related to youth work and youth policy and, for example, is responsible for drafting the National Child and Youth Policy Programme and coordinating youth policy in central government.
Youth policy is a broad concept that refers to improving the conditions in which young people grow up and live in and enhancing interaction between the generations. Youth policy is thus an entity that consists of joint activities between several branches of administration. It includes issues related to livelihood, sport, culture, education and training, housing and health.
Youth work refers to supporting young people in growing up, getting ready for independent life and feeling included in society. The Ministry of Education and Culture subsidises youth work carried out by municipalities and NGOs and its development by means of central government transfers or discretionary transfers, and steers and supports regional youth work through performance guidance. The Ministry also wishes to promote young people’s participation and inclusion by its activities.
The municipalities are responsible for local youth work, such as maintaining youth facilities, supporting young people’s associations and groups and special youth work. Associations and organisations that engage in youth work also operate in municipalities.
In regional government, youth sector tasks are handled by the Regional State Administrative Agencies. These tasks are associated with supporting young people’s possibilities of finding a place in education, training or work, providing information and advisory services for young people and organising recreational and leisure activities for them. The Regional State Administrative Agencies provide aid for youth workshop activities and youth outreach work. They also collect information on municipal services, train actors and handle some of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s aid for the youth sector.