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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Career guidance and counselling services
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

Career guidance and counselling services

The purpose of all guidance and counselling is to support individuals in making educational choices and career plans based on the principle of lifelong learning. Everyone in Finland is entitled to guidance and counselling services regardless of whether they are studying, working, unemployed or outside of the labour market. The public sector education and employment authorities and the education providers, normally municipalities (see: the Glossary), are the main actors responsible for providing guidance and counselling services. The division of duties and labour between them is clear. Education and training institutions bear the main responsibility for the guidance and counselling of pupils and students (see more in Eurydice/Finland Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education.) Vocational guidance, career planning, and educational and vocational information services — available at public employment and business services — are primarily intended for those outside education and training. Guidance and counselling at public employment and business services, however, are also available for students.

As mentioned in section Youth Wiki/Finland 3.1 General context, one of the main method of realising Youth Guarantee in Finland is to maintenance the network of One-Stop Guidance Centres (in Finnish: Ohjaamot) across Finland. It is an easy access service point for young people under the age of 30. Its operating model is to provide information, advice, guidance and support across a range of sectors of basic services from various administrative branches and across a broad network of collaborators. The open operating model encourages young people to get in-touch in order to sort out their own situation, which they can also do without involving aforementioned organisations. The One-Stop Guidance Centres offers special support for young people going through transitions and encourages them to remain in education and work. The situation of young individuals using the service is taken into account in the guidance that the initiative offers. The support offered can encompass several stages such as social rehabilitation and health care services, or getting on the path towards education or employment, and coping with the preparations involved in these various processes.


The career guidance services in educational institutions are financed by the municipalities, the Finnish National Agency for Education, and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Career guidance services in public employment and the business sector are financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

During the earlier years, One-Stop Guidance Centres have been carried out with ESF funding and were jointly initiated by the Ministry of Economic and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Among other services, public employment offices and One-Stop Guidance Centres were expected to be placed under new region levels of administration at the beginning of the year 2021, if the planned reforms for the health and social services, and regional government, would have been carried out according to plans made by the previous government (more information about the current state of the reform, see Youth Wiki/Finland 7.8 Current Debates and Reforms). In this intermediary situation in which the reforms are being postponed and re-planned, the One-Stop Guidance Centres, for example, are currently being funded mainly by the municipalities (see Glossary) and the public employment services of the state. Some of the centres also still have project-based funding, for example, from European Social Fund. The responsibility of allocating reasonable amounts of funding to the One-Stop Guidance Centres to ensure the quality of their service lies at the local level (municipality).

Quality assurance

The career guidance provided by educational institutions is regulated by the curriculums of basic education, general secondary and vocational secondary schools (for more information about current curriculum guidelines, visit: Youth Wiki/Finland Chapter 6 Education and Training). 

As described in the report regarding the implementation of Article 22 of the Constitution of the ILO in Finland, the success of the public employment services depend on two factors. Firstly, it is important to focus on evaluating a young person's need for services. Secondly, value is placed on the speed of the service process by making use of the wide range of existing services. Based on the assessed service needs, the public employment office will draw up an employment plan together with the young person, soon after he or she has registered as an unemployed jobseeker. The assessment of service needs must be carried out within two weeks of the person registering as a jobseeker. The employment plan will then be developed further by meeting the young person according to his or her service needs. The young person must then be offered active measures to facilitate employment before he or she has been continuously unemployed for a period of three months. The services stated in the employment plan are mutually binding and are jointly agreed upon by the young person and the public employment service office, who take the young person's opinion into account. If a skilled or unskilled young person requires public services other than those offered by the public employment office, such services will be arranged in cooperation with other authorities.

For more information about services arranged in cooperation with other authorities (e.g. youth workshops), visit: Youth Wiki/Finland 4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion.

The national coordinating project Kohtaamo (Meeting site) supports the development of the One-Stop Guidance Centres and related web-based guidance and their implementation. The project also evaluates the key processes and the outcomes of the One-Stop Guidance Centres, such as their usefulness for young people, integration of youth services, and youth transitions after the service (see the publication One-Stop Guidance Center (Ohjaamo) – Ready to offer multi-agency services for the young). The project is funded by European Social Fund.

According to the Youth Act, each municipality or coalition of several municipalities together are obliged to have a coordinating body for cross-sectoral cooperation. The number of municipalities having such a body is monitored as part of the Annual Reports of the Government submitted to Parliament. For more information regarding the annual reports, visit: Youth Wiki/Finland 4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion.