Unemployment security for persons under the age of 25

Are you under 25 years of age without a professional degree and who has finished comprehensive school or upper secondary school? Conditions for unemployment security apply to you that partially differ from those of other job seekers. Your situation will change when you get vocational training or take part in services provided by TE offices that promote employment. 

Unemployment security for those aged 17 and 18  

If you are entitled to a basic unemployment allowance from Kela or an earnings-related daily allowance from an unemployment fund, it can be paid to you, both for your time of unemployment, and for the time that you receive services preceding employment once you have turned 17.  

If you are under 17 years of age you are not entitled to a labour market subsidy for the time that you are unemployed or taking part in services that promote employment.  

When you turn 17 you will be entitled to a labour market subsidy for the time that you participate in a service that promotes employment, but not for your time of unemployment in other respects.  

At the age of 18 you can receive a labour market subsidy also for your time of unemployment if you meet the other preconditions for a labour market subsidy.  

Those under 25 are obligated to apply for training  

Are you under 25 and with no education beyond comprehensive school or upper secondary school? To qualify for an unemployment benefit you need to apply in the spring for at least two places to study for which you have the necessary qualifications.  

Always apply in the spring for education that starts in the autumn which leads to a degree, and which gives professional skills.  

  • The training does not have to be part of the joint application system. You may also apply to a university or university of applied sciences, for example.  
  • If you have only completed comprehensive school, you may also apply for places to study in upper secondary schools intended for young people comprising at least 75 courses of teaching.  
  • If you are completing upper secondary school in the spring, you must apply in the spring that you graduate for education that begins in the autumn and gives professional skills. This is also the case if your intention is to complete your military or non-military service immediately after finishing upper secondary school. 
  • You must apply to study in at least two places for which you have the required qualifications.  
  • If you are invited to an entrance examination, you must participate in the exam as well as other events related to the application process.  
  • If you are offered a place to study, accept it and start your studies.  

If there are reasons related to matters such as your state of health or language skills that prevent you from applying to study, discuss the matter with an expert from your TE office. In such a situation it is possible to agree that the obligation to apply to study can be met in some other way than the manner mentioned above.  

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Make sure you don't lose your unemployment benefit  

If you are still unemployed at the beginning of the autumn term (1 September), an expert from the TE office will inquire what training you have applied for.  

You will lose your right to unemployment compensation for an indefinite period from 1 September if

  • you have not applied for at least two places to study without a valid reason, 
  • you fail to be selected for study because of action of your own   
  • you turn down a place to study without a valid reason, or if you do not begin your studies,

If you quit your studies without a valid reason you will lose your right to unemployment benefits from the day that you leave.  

To get an unemployment benefit you are not required to apply in the autumn for instruction that begins in the spring. However, if you do apply to start in the autumn and you get a place to study, but fail to start your studies in the spring, you will lose your right to unemployment benefits infinitely.  

Your right to an unemployment benefit will be restored if one of the following conditions is met:  

  • You have completed a professional or higher education degree.  
  • You have spent at least 21 calendar weeks working at a job that meets the conditions of being employed, which means that you have worked at least 18 hours a week, taken part in services that promote employment, studied full time, or worked full time as an entrepreneur or at your own job.  
  • You reach your 25th birthday.  

Kela can impose a waiting period for your labour market subsidy, during which time you will not get the labour market subsidy. The maximum length of the waiting period is 21 weeks. Kela will decide on the length of waiting period.  

Instructions for customers in local government trials on employment 

If you are a customer of the local government trial on employment, under 25 years of age and have not completed an education leading to a qualification and providing vocational skills after comprehensive school or general upper secondary school, you have to apply for education.  

See the instructions on this page about the joint application process. If reasons related to e.g. your health or language skills prevent you from applying for an education, you should discuss with an expert in your municipality of residence about how to compensate for the obligation to apply for studies.  

If you are 17 or 18 years old and a customer of the local government trial on employment, the prerequisites for receiving labour market support described on this page also apply to your services. 

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Services that promote employment 

If you cannot receive unemployment security due to not applying for education or training options, you can still receive unemployment security while participating in services promoting employment.   

Services promoting employment include:  

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