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Conscripts meet employers at Finland's biggest post-service job fair

Twenty-five companies met up with 1,100 conscripts finishing their military service in Hämeenlinna.

Varusmiehiä yrityksen ständillä rekrytointimessuilla.
Supply meeting demand? Image: Lauri Rautavuori / Yle

The largest professional recruitment fair aimed directly at military conscripts finishing their service period may help with Finland's unemployment troubles, says Hämeenlinna deputy city manager Juha Isosuo.

Hundreds of conscripts end their training every three months, most of whom are in need of some kind of work or other calling after their mandated stint (of either 165, 255 or 347 days).

"Many conscripts don't know what to do with their futures," says gunner Joona Karvonen, who is also in charge of helping other trainees with education and employment-related questions.

Twenty-five different businesses – in construction, metalwork, ICT and other fields – gathered at the recruitment event, organised by the Armoured Brigade of the Defence Forces and the Häme region Chamber of Commerce.

"Win-win"

Deputy mayor Isosuo calls the jobseeking fair a "win-win situation" for both the Defence Forces and society at large, as hitching fresh-faced young adults to jobs right out of the army may be a help in tackling Finland's 8.6 percent unemployment rate (Findicator).

"The city of Hämeenlinna suffers from unemployment, as well, and this is a great way to reach out to young people," Isosuo says.

Colonel Kari Nisula also says that local effects can be huge, even if only a small percentage of the 1,100 young men and women who leave basic training end up getting jobs from their visit to the fair.

When asked what special skills a young adult fresh out of their service period might be tagged for, Nisula mentions the various driving licenses proffered by the Defence Forces as well as certifications for fire safety or similar security work.

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