The Kohtaamo project (ESF)
The purpose of Kohtaamo ('Meeting Space') is
- to develop low-threshold services – One-Stop Guidance Centers – and nationwide online guidance for young people
- the aim is to promote employment and education among young people and prevent marginalisation
- it is implemented under the guidance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and as cooperation between several administrative branches, businesses and the third sector
- Kohtaamo is part of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and receives funding from the European Social Fund for the project period 2014–2020.
What is a One-Stop Guidance Center?
A One-Stop Guidance Center is a place that provides help in matters related to work, education and everyday life for young people and young adults under 30 years of age. One-Stop Guidance Centers across Finland offer information, advice and guidance fast and based on need.
The activities, which bring together different operators under the same roof, have been developed across Finland for years. The best-known examples are the services at Byström in Oulu (in Finnish) and Olkkari in Mikkeli (in Finnish), but similar activities have been developed in other places, too. Young people have in several surveys expressed the wish that they would like to receive information, advice and guidance easily and fast. The purpose of One-Stop Guidance Centers is to respond to this need.
In 2014, a decision was made to start expanding the activities to different parts of Finland as part of the Youth Guarantee. The good experiences gained from the already developed services and the desire to make it easier for young people to find employment and education contributed to the decision. At the beginning of 2015, a number of projects funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) were indeed launched and they have set up One-Stop Guidance Center services in municipalities and joint municipal authorities. There are also One-Stop Guidance Centers that have been established by local authorities themselves without any external project funding.
At the moment the number of the centres across Finland totalled more than 50. The most northern centre is located in Rovaniemi, while the most southern one is in Helsinki. About 500 professionals from different sectors work at least one day a week in the One-Stop Guidance Centers.
The centres are developed in cooperation by different ministries. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are involved in the project. The activities are supported at the national level by the Kohtaamo project (ESF).
You will find more information about the One-Stop Guidance Centers and their activities at ohjaamot.fi. The contact details of all One-Stop Guidance Centers in Finland can be found on the national website. You can also find the contact details of the centres in the joint brochure of One-Stop Guidance Centers.