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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 6 June 2024
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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.

There is a network of One-Stop Guidance Centres (in Finnish: Ohjaamot) across Finland, also. Those centres provide easy access service points to young people under the age of 30. Their 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 openness of the service encourages young people to get in-touch to sort out their own situation. The situation of young individuals using the service is considered in the guidance. 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. 

At the beginning of 2025, the responsibility for organising employment services will be transferred to the municipalities, as a part of that also One-Stop Guidance Centres will have a new position in the municipal organisation structure, for more information see Guest blogger: One-Stop Guidance Centres play a key role in the TE24 reform written by Senior Specialist Eveliina Vainikka, published online in Job Market Finland by the Keha-centre (in Finnish), which is the Development and Administration centre for the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office).


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. One-Stop Guidance Centresoriginally jointly initiated by the Ministry of Economic and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, have in earlier years been carried out mostly with ESF funding. Nowadays the service is funded primarily by the municipalities.

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). 

The One-Stop Guidance Centres (in Finnish ‘Ohjaamot’) and similar kinds of entities for guiding young people in relation to employment are transferred to work under the new municipal employment authority at the beginning of the year 2025. That means changes also in the quality assurance systems related to these centres. In the publication ‘Ohjaamot – multidisciplinary cooperation, effectiveness and a cultural change Study on the effectiveness of multidisciplinary cooperation in youth employment services’  (in Finnish) written by a researcher group led by Mikko Valtakari, and published in the Publication series of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research (2020), the centres were assessed against their national goals. Based on the publication, these centres are in place ‘to streamline and facilitate young people's transitions into work, education or other activities, to promote youth inclusion, empowerment and life control and to bring service providers together in a multi-disciplinary service package.’ The results of the study show for example that, ‘due to the multiprofessional collaboration model, the One-Stop Guidance Centres are able to assess the customer's situation more holistically and have the necessary means to more efficiently promote effective customer processes.’ 

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.