This blog post is part of our Recoding Society blog series started by Mikko’s blog ‘Creating a positive impact’ and continued by Kaija’s blog ’Creating empowering solutions’. The series highlights the impact our work is having on Society. We are helping organizations and citizens to overcome several challenges and in this series, our experts share their thoughts featuring real projects one theme at a time.
Work and employment are a significant part of our lives. Employment related events affect everybody. All of us have been looking for a new job or unemployed at some point in time. So, we have strong feelings about the employment related services different public sector organizations offer. At Gofore, we have had the opportunity to be involved in creating several new solutions for future employment services in different areas of employment and business development. All of these solutions start from the needs of the customer using the services.
A new era of employment and business services
Previously Sipilä’s government in Finland started a program for renewing current employment services. These services are being developed by creating new digital services whose main goal is to match job-seekers and jobs better, faster and easier than before. The short-term objective of the TE-Digi program is to provide seamless customer guidance with the prevention of continued unemployment and provide clear online services, which will support the self-motivation of the job-seekers. The renewed approach and information systems will reduce bureaucracy and streamline processes. The new digital services will play a big role.
The key element of the new solution is being customer-centric. The development team has run a lot of studies and done plenty of service design to get a proper understanding of the needs of customers and public authorities. These studies and findings are the base of the design for new services. It is time to lift employment services into the 21st century. The program will take advantage of modern technologies and use for example AI solutions to create better matching for employees and open positions. The TE-Digi program started in 2016 and it continues at least, to the end of the year 2020.
As we are using agile methodologies, for example, SAFe, TE-Digi builds gradually. Parts of it are already in production and a new release is targeted for September 2019. While the new Rinne government in Finland still has a strong will to improve the employment rate [FI] and to focus on services [FI], for example, for incapacitated or elderly persons or for immigrants, the TE-Digi program is still more than valid.
Designing services for protection in the event of restructuring
In the case of employment termination and lay-offs, the enterprise has certain obligations it needs to follow. In these situations, employment services offer dedicated services both for the enterprise and for the employee. We have been re-designing the services to make the service offering even better in co-operation with Häme Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment [FI]. Through this service design, there have been some concrete improvements to the services. For the enterprise, the services are now listed in a service plan that is easier to follow. There have also been some concrete ideas about how to improve communication with the affected employees. For the employees, the focus has been on encouraging job seeking before the actual layoff and improves guidance in this situation. One big advantage of this project has been creating networks for the different parties working on this area like for example, employment services, employment funds, collective industrial organization.
The Finnish Government has several ways of supporting the development of enterprises. Enterprise development grants, enterprise development services and start-up grants are used to add new business, to encourage existing companies to develop their business and to make use of new business opportunities. Finland needs varied, future-forward business and an encouraging operating environment for companies. Public financing is used to lower the barrier to entrepreneurship and to encourage companies in goal-oriented development of their operations. At Gofore, we have been involved in creating new digital services for these grants together with the Ministry of Economic affairs and Employment.