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Kesko: Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme achieved target six months ahead of the deadline

By the beginning of June, Kesko and K-stores have employed a total of 1,188 young people in the target group of the Youth Guarantee in different parts of Finland. The Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme was launched last year aiming to employ 1,000 young people by the end of 2014. The target was achieved six months ahead of the deadline.

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-6-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Most of the youths found employment during August 2013 – May 2014 at K-food stores. Young people have also been given jobs by Intersport, Kesport, Musta Pörssi, Kookenkä, K-rauta, Rautia and K-maatalous, VV-Auto, Keslog, Anttila and Kesko. The programme has been most successful in the Greater Helsinki area, Northern Ostrobothnia and Northern Savo.

–  The Youth Guarantee works when there is willingness to invest in it. We achieved the target well ahead of the deadline, because K-retailers and Kesko with its subsidiaries were strongly committed to employing young people. Close and smooth cooperation between employers and the Employment and Economic Development Centres has also been central for the success, says Matti Mettälä, Senior Vice President responsible for Kesko’s Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations.

Close cooperation with employment authorities

Kesko’s Board of Directors granted €100,000 for the launch of the programme in 2013. The amount enabled, among other things, a project coordinator to be hired by the K-Group to act as a liaison between K-retailers, Kesko and the Employment and Economic Development Centre.

As the programme has advanced, operating models have been developed for the different parties in order for employment to take place fast. For example, the Employment and Economic Development Centres now have contact persons assigned to assist the K-Group employers to find the most suitable young people for the jobs. They also help in the wage subsidy process in order that employment takes place at the agreed time.

Tarja Mäntykoski, the retailer of K-market Viljami in Peräseinäjoki, is satisfied with the support she has received. She has employed two young people to work at her store with the help of the Youth Guarantee.

– This is definitely a very good system for providing employment to young people. My experiences of the Youth Guarantee are only positive. It does not involve any complicated bureaucracy, says Mäntykoski.

For many youths, work experience form a K-store is an important springboard into working life. Joni Yliviitala, working at Intersport Ruoholahti in Helsinki, is happy about the job he got with the help of the Sanssi card.

–  I had applied for nearly 20 different jobs before I got this. The Employment and Economic Development Centre had given me a Sanssi card, which had not been useful until the job interview for this job, says Joni Yliviitala.

The K-Group employs around 45,000 people in eight countries and 20,000 of them are less than 30 years old. Kesko and K-retailers employ approximately 30,000 people in Finland, around 20,000 of whom are employed by K-retailer entrepreneurs. During the past eight months, the K-Group has employed a total of 5,000 young people.

Further information:
Matti Mettälä, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 105 322 200

Johanna Kinnunen, Project Coordinator, K-Retailers’ Association, tel. +358 503 427 860

EPR Retail News