Government proposes state-owned company to employ people with limited work capacity

The company's objective is to assist people with limited employment prospects due to disability or illness.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment Tuula Haatainen (SDP) announced the details of the proposal at a press conference. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Finland's government is aiming to establish a state-owned company that would employ about 1,000 people who have a partial ability to work.

The objective of the company — which the government proposes calling Työkanava (roughly translated as Work Channel) — is to help people with limited employment prospects due to disability or illness and assist them in finding a way into the labour market.

At a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, Tuula Haatainen (SDP), said the government's parties had submitted the proposal to Parliament.

"The right and opportunity to work according to their abilities is important not only for people with partial work ability but for Finnish society as a whole," Haatainen said. "From this group of people, Työkanava will be able to employ the most disadvantaged people, whose employment prospects have so far not markedly improved despite different measures and services."

The company is based on a similar model — called Samhall — which has been operating in Sweden for a number of years.

The Finnish government aims to begin rolling out the company's operations in stages from next year, once the project receives the green light from Parliament.