Helsinki strives to ensure that not a single young person should be socially excluded. Every young person should have a job, a traineeship or a study place. Young people should have confidence in the future and in Helsinki as their home community, and they should feel that they can have an impact in City operations.

The vicious circle of young people’s social exclusion, especially exclusion from the job market, training and education, is one of the most serious problems of our society. It is vital for sustainable urban development that the problem should be eased. Social exclusion of young people affects not only the young people concerned but has an adverse impact on the local economy, the general quality of life and safety.

To prevent social exclusion, Helsinki strengthens the service chain for children and young people. The service chain starts from the local maternity and child health clinic and continues in early childhood education, day care centres, schools, school health care and youth work. A high level of services throughout the city is a requisite for equality and good life.

Every young person finds a place after the comprehensive education

Helsinki supports young people in their transition to further education, training or the job market after they complete their comprehensive (compulsory) education. Helsinki’s means of support include the Ohjaamo Helsinki youth advisory and counselling service and outreach youth work. Targeted services are available for young immigrants.

Helsinki meets the goals of the national Training Guarantee for young people: every young person is guaranteed a traineeship or study place after they complete their comprehensive education.

The City supports the transition of young people to the job market with a summer work voucher. This is a voucher for the employer that pays for a part of a young summer worker’s wages. Every 9th grader in Helsinki (the last grade of comprehensive education) receives a summer work voucher. Last summer, approximately 30 percent of Helsinki 9th graders found a summer job with the voucher.

Through Ruuti, young people can participate in the decision-making

Young people in Helsinki can participate in City processes, even decision-making. Ruuti is a youth participation system that makes the voices of 13- to -17-year-olds heard in the City.

Through Ruuti, they can propose initiatives, decide on the allocation of a part of the City youth budget and join the Helsinki Youth Council. In addition to concrete activities, Ruuti educates young people in public participation, equality and cooperation.

Mukana project prevents social exclusion

The Mukana project seeks systemic means to reduce the social exclusion of children and young people. The project seeks to prevent social exclusion from being passed from one generation to the next, and it seeks to reduce regional divergence.

Wellbeing should be supported before problems arise, and signs detected in childhood should be reacted to before severe symptoms appear. It is important in the prevention of social exclusion to target measures in a timely manner. It is also important to strengthen factors that support and protect young people’s wellbeing and their immediate environment. The objective of the Mukana project is to shift the focus to prevention.

Ohjaamo Helsinki helps with all kinds of questions

Ohjaamo Helsinki is a place for every 15- to -29-year-old. They can walk in without an appointment to ask for advice on anything: training and education, job seeking, money matters or questions about social services and health care.