During the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme, around 1,800 unemployed young adults in its target group gained a foothold in working life when employed by K-Group stores. The success of the programme, launched in August 2013 and terminated at the end of 2014, exceeded all expectations in the K-Group, reaching almost double the original target of one thousand young people.
HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Half of all K-retailer entrepreneurs, that is, nearly 600 retailers employed young people in the target group of the programme across Finland. Most of them were employed by food stores, but many were also recruited to jobs in the K-Group’s home improvement and speciality goods trade and the car and machinery trade.
“The Youth Guarantee works if we are prepared to invest in it. The close and direct cooperation between employers and the Employment and Economic Development Centres was also central to the success. The target of one thousand employed young people set by us for our programme was far exceeded. K-retailers and Kesko with its subsidiaries are strongly committed to providing employment to young people,” says Matti Mettälä, Kesko’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources.
K-Group retailers and stores made use of various employment options during the programme and, in addition to employment contracts, also offered apprenticeships and work experiments.
“Providing employment to young people is a natural part of the K-Group’s responsible operations. It is particularly positive that the number apprenticeships increased significantly in our stores during the programme,” says Mettälä pleased.
“Young people must be given a chance”
“Young people must be given a chance” is the motto of Taina Källi, who runs a K-rauta store in Järvenpää. She is, for instance, engaged in cooperation with the youth and employment unit of the city of Järvenpää.
“One of the girls who started at the checkout later moved to a permanent job at the store cafe. Now she has been studying to be a cook while at work,” says the retailer.
She also praises the support given by the coordinator of the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme in questions related to salary support. The assistance has been of key importance when decisions on employing young people have been made. The Youth Guarantee Coordinator will continue to provide help and expertise to Kesko’s supervisors and K-retailers in issues related to the employment of young people.
K-Group stores are an important employer of young people. In all, around 12,000 young people and adults aged under 30 were employed by K-Group stores during the period from August 2013 to December 2014.
Executive Vice President Matti Mettälä, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 53 22200
Youth Guarantee Coordinator Johanna Kinnunen, the K-Retailers’ Association, tel. +358 50 342 7860
Kesko (www.kesko.fi) is one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. We are a retail specialist whose chains have about 2,000 stores in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus. Our stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers.