The skill development system of Finland is one of the most successful systems in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The levels of literacy, as well as numeracy of its population, are the highest in the OECD, according to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. This is because most of the people there continue to learn throughout their life. But to maintain the performances, the system will have to adapt to a quickly changing job market. Various factors like ageing, globalization and technological change are vastly affecting the jobs available in the market. So, it is important to address the challenges needed to manage the changing conditions.
A report from OECD assesses the system of continuous learning in working life in Finland. This also includes employment-related learning, which is undertaken by adults to acquire skills for the future jobs. According to this report, Finland’s economic performance was lacklustre in the last decade but it regained momentum in 2018 and most of them have jobs now. But the new jobs are not similar to jobs before the crisis because of various factors. The employment in Finland is growing continuously but it is clear that new jobs are totally different than the previous ones and they need different skill-sets.
So, Finland has to strengthen the continuous learning system in response to the changing labour market. One of the chapters in this report provides information on financing, adult learning provision structure and current governance. It says that the cost of training is shared among the individuals, companies and government. The adult learning system has a wide range of learning opportunities, such as vocational education, general education, employee training, basic education, etc. But still, this will not be enough for the future job market.
Most of the current jobs require high-level skills, and digital skills have a lot of importance in working life. So, the skill development system in Finland should get future-ready. But there are various challenges according to a section in this report. It found that learning participation is low among people with fewer skills or those who are unemployed. A financial participation system encourages people to participate only in formal education and not in informal learning. And, the last one is there is limited or no alignment of education and training based on current job market needs.
The report suggests that if Finland gives access to non-formal learning opportunities, many key challenges will be addressed. But the training should be of high quality if non-formal training is to be made attractive to individuals.
The report also suggests the improvement of learning participation of individuals with low skills. This is because the job opportunities for these people have reduced over the last decade. So, Finland should support individuals with low skills by up-skilling or re-skilling them according to the job market needs. The report suggests that Finland should offer comprehensive guidance, advice and support to all the individuals with low skills. But all the information should be accessible under one roof to make guidance and information effective.
Finland has the best skill development system in the OECD. But technological innovation, AI and Automation will have a great effect on the future job markets. The adults will require new skill-sets if they want to retain their jobs. Finland’s skill development system will have to adapt to the changing job market conditions.