Making career progress – the employment service for the commerce, tourism and catering sectors is built individually

The service is intended for people of all ages seeking work in the target sectors. The client can already have robust work experience, or they can be a newcomer in their chosen sector without training. The service is provided in Finnish, Swedish and English.
A group of people on a large terrace in summer.
Photo: Jussi Hellsten / City of Helsinki

The client will have a mutually created plan regarding the actions that they need to take in order to find employment. Examples of such actions include establishing what open positions would suit the client’s competence, seeking out hidden jobs, updating the client’s CV or practising for job interviews. The client will receive information about different employment agreements, as well as the rights and obligations of employers and employees.

The service is intended for unemployed jobseeker clients of Helsinki Employment Services or those carrying out temporary work with a zero hour contract.

“Clients have sought out this service from a very wide variety of backgrounds and needs. Some are looking for more permanent employment, while others are looking for a temporary solution suited to their personal situation. We build a tailored path towards employment or training for each client,” explain Specialist Marju Töyrylä and Planning Officer Laura Ekonen from Helsinki Employment Services.

The service is suitable for young people and newcomers in the target sectors with no prior work experience. Young people may be seeking their first job between further study situations. Their job seeking can be supported by clarifying their strengths, such as those arising from their hobbies. Practising for job interviews and creating video applications together with a coach have been important aids.

The service also benefits seasoned veterans of working life, those looking for new work and those thinking about changing careers. In these situations, a coach will help the clients outline job opportunities available based on their accumulated experience and competence.

For some jobseekers, gig work is a suitable solution in their life situation or can be used to accrue experience with a more temporary job in mind. Gig workers may find a full-time job or employment with at least 18 working hours per week through the service. 

Aiming at quick employment – a wide variety of paths have been found

The client’s ability to work and life management skills must be sufficient to facilitate quick employment. People can become clients of the service even if they are unsure about their own career choice. Our coaches identify know-how that can be useful in other sectors as well.

 “Roughly 30% of clients who have found employment during the service have found a job outside their respective target sectors. The know-how of our coaches focuses on these sectors in particular, but they help with finding other kinds of jobs as well,” Töyrylä comments.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, the catering sector in particular suffered from a labour shortage, but the commerce sector was also in need of workers. On the other hand, we at Helsinki Employment Services had and continue to have plenty of clients seeking work in these sectors. The tourism sector faced a transformation after the pandemic partly due to many talents pursuing other duties. This service was our answer to the matching problem prevalent in the labour sector,” says Ekonen about the background of the purchased service procurement.

By January 2024, 1,132 clients had undergone the initial assessment for the service, slightly under 70% of whom have been selected for a client relationship. More than 40% of the clients selected for the service are foreign-language speakers. Roughly one third of all participants have found employment during the service. Slightly over half of them have received an employment relationship longer than one year, in which the working hours are at least 80%.

“The employment result is quite good. The majority of those who have found employment have received a long and full-time or nearly full-time job. Our clients develop their job-seeking skills and clarify their goals, enabling them to make progress in their situation. Even if a client only undergoes the initial assessment, the result can be used as a basis for finding other, better suited services or e.g. starting studies,” say Töyrylä and Ekonen to summarise the benefits of the service.

Of the target sectors, the catering sector has provided the most employment opportunities and the tourism sector the fewest. Work has been found in other sectors as well. For example, clients have found jobs as care assistants, in the security sector, in customer service, as salespeople, as cooks, in food service product development, as waiters, as café and restaurant workers, as warehouse workers and as shelf stackers.

Motivation and activity crucial in clients’ progress

Clients have found aspects such as our coaches’ tips for working life, suggestions for their next steps and confirmation of their own skills to be useful. They have also applauded the coaches’ clarification of job-seeking documents.

After a tendering process, Y4 Works Oy and Wenhe Oy were selected as the service providers. The companies have extensive knowledge of the target sectors.

The Y4 coaching team is of the view that clients’ own motivation and activity are keys to their employment. Many have found that the coaching has improved their self-confidence.

“What all of our clients who have found employment have in common is an active approach to job-seeking and a desire to take action to advance their situation. Clients have found the service to be eye-opening, developed their job-seeking skills and, above all, increased their belief in themselves, their skills and their talents. We love the fact that a service like this exists, and it is great that we get to help clients make progress,” comment the Y4 coaching team members. 

Many jobseekers find it important to have an appointed coach who is familiar with the client’s background information, strengths and job-seeking goals charted in the initial assessment.

“For example, we can help clients prepare for a job interview on a tight schedule if needed. The coaching provides the client with affirmation of their suitability in the sector of their choosing and information about different job descriptions and businesses. Job-seeking is more systematic and efficient when the necessary documentation is in order and the job-seeking channels are more extensive. Participants have received new vigour and systematicity for their job-seeking,” comment Employment Coaches Mirka Korkia-aho and Kaisa Palomäki from Wenhe Oy.

The service is being developed further in collaboration with the service providers and based on feedback from clients and employment service specialists. Exchanging information and experiences yields new ideas, and trials are carried out in an agile manner. The service was opened for clients in August 2022, and the procurement process will end in the summer of 2025.

Further information

Employment service for the commerce, tourism and catering sectors

Upcoming client info events in the event calendar