Minister: Finland's job market discriminates against older workers

The government says it wants to improve the job prospects of Finland's unemployed over-50s.

Employment Minister Timo Harakka. Image: Ykkösaamu / Yle

Employment Minister Timo Harakka told Yle's Ykkösaamu programme on Saturday that age discrimination was a real problem in the Finnish job market.

“I receive messages from jobseekers over the age of 50 telling me how their work experience is sidelined or how they don’t get called in for interviews,” Harakka told Yle. “The problem is that many people over 50 have already given up.”

Harakka suggested upping wage subsidies for employers hiring unemployed people over the age of 50. He pointed out that Sweden's employment rate for 55 to 64 year-olds is 12 percentage points higher than Finland's.

In relation to its GDP, Sweden channels five times more money into wage subsidy programmes than Finland does.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne has highlighted raising Finland's employment level to 75 percent as one of his government’s main goals. The most recent figures from August show the country’s employment rate at 72.5 percent.