Guest blogger: Employer, lower the bar and help young people find jobs!


Jobseeking is challenging for young people nowadays. Nevertheless, the future report by Talous ja nuoret TAT (2020) indicates that 82% of secondary school students are looking forward to joining the workforce nevertheless. According to the report, teenagers are interested in employment early on, but they need more information about the world of work.


The most successful jobseekers are the superhuman applicants who are already experienced in jobseeking and have something to show on their CV. For the non-superhuman ones: don't worry, jobseeking skills are something you can practice. Most of the information young people have on jobseeking and how to write a job application comes from school, but is it enough? I interviewed a few students in middle and upper secondary school and asked about their thoughts on jobseeking and employment. I listed the most important messages as five tips for employers.

  1. Lower the bar!

Don't hesitate to offer summer jobs to young people even if they don’t have previous work experience. Remember that teenagers accumulate experience through hobbies and leisure time as well. Talk with the applicant to find out how these skills will be useful for the job.

  1. Give a chance to young people with different backgrounds

Few young people already have an extensive network to support their job search. Give a chance to others than your friends’ children.  You can be the first to give a young person the opportunity to make new contacts and help them show their skills in future jobs.

  1. Get TET trainees

Get more than one TET trainee and summer employee for your company. With programmes such as TET, you can spark someone's interest in your field and have them join it in the future. Remember to share all kinds of information about the tasks, training and work prospects related to your field. Remind your TET trainee to apply for summer jobs, since a successful TET traineeship may help them get a summer job at your company.

  1. Give your young employee versatile tasks

Making coffee or filing doesn’t give a young person sufficient work experience. Could you ask them about their skills and give them tasks that match their interests? Clearly state in your job advertisement what the tasks are and keep your promises in practice as well.

  1. Include your young employee in your work community

Pay attention to how young employees are taken into account at your workplace. Remember to give a thorough orientation and to explain what you expect of your young employee – and vice versa. Pay attention to having a pleasant work environment and invest in your work culture. Be flexible with regards to remote work if possible.

Being young and having no experience, the best thing to do is prepare well – that alone will go a long way. The Duunikoutsi app developed by Talous ja nuoret TAT provides young people with support in preparing for employment and especially for jobseeking. By completing challenges in the app, users accumulate necessary knowledge about the labour market and develop their skills for joining the workforce. The app should also be used as part of a young employee's work tasks. Finally, a tip to ensure your success: offer young people job opportunities; the best way to build up job experience is to work. Also, you can always learn something new from your young employees.

Essi Lehtovaara
Project Manager, Talous ja Nuoret TAT ry

TAT ry's services can be found through Job Market Finland, as TAT ry is part of the Job Market Finland’s partner network.