“In addition to money, summer jobs provide young people with important working life skills and help them assess what is good and bad in different industries and work tasks. The impact summer job experiences have on career choices can be quite considerable,” said Mari Kiviniemi in the launch seminar of the Responsible Summer Job campaign organised on 21 January by Oikotie Työpaikat.
The protector of the Responsible Summer Job campaign for the year 2021 was published in the seminar. In her speech after receiving the duty of honour, Mari Kiviniemi emphasised the importance of continuous orientation.
“Summer employees must receive orientation from the very first day, but the orientation must also continue throughout the summer job. There will always be surprising situations and a young person with little work experience is not necessarily capable of handling them.”
Other factors that are very important for young people are continuous communication and being provided feedback.
“Hopefully, employers and supervisors will remember to often ask how the summer job is going and be eager to provide positive feedback. It is, of course, also valuable for the employer to receive feedback,” says Kiviniemi.
Kiviniemi wanted to remind young people that small mistakes are part of working life. Everyone makes mistakes and one should not brood over them.
Increasingly tight competition for employees
According to a summer job survey published today by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), the number of summer jobs plummeted to approximately 80,000 last year. The survey also showed that in 2020 the service industry provided roughly two thirds of all summer jobs. Nearly half of those were in the commerce sector. This year, one in four commerce sector companies plan on hiring more summer employees than last year.
Kiviniemi has a clear message for employers: competition for employees will continue to tighten in the coming years. That is why Kiviniemi encourages companies to offer summer jobs if they can.
“In a normal year, the commerce sector provides more than 30,000 summer jobs. Although there is a lot of uncertainty this year due to the COVID-19 situation, there are also clearly positive indications. Summer 2021 offers employers the chance to show the variety of jobs available in the sector,” she says.
Responsibly and safely – without undue COVID-19 restrictions
The objective of the Responsible Summer Job campaign for this year is 100,000 summer jobs. Employers that participate in the campaign commit to six principles of a good summer job: a good application experience, meaningful work, introduction and guidance, fairness and equality, reasonable pay and a written contract and testimonial.
“A responsible employer is very important for a summer employee earning some of their very first work experience. It is not just about complying with the letter of the law and collective labour agreement but also their spirit: equality, fairness and a good workplace atmosphere,” says Kiviniemi.
She also has a clear message for decision-makers: She thinks it is important that the COVID-19 restrictions are not allowed to unduly weaken companies’ ability to benefit from the summer season.
“Right now, it is important to enable summer jobs responsibly and safely. Restrictions must only be imposed when they are truly necessary, and they must take into consideration the specific characteristics of regions and companies.”
Further information: Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 50 511 3189, mari.kiviniemi(at)kauppa.fi
There are already more than 520 employers participating in the Responsible Summer Job campaign. The main partners of the campaign are S Group, Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), Talous ja nuoret TAT and T-media. The Finnish Commerce Federation continues as a specialist and industry partner of the project. Further information about the Responsible Summer Job campaign: www.kesaduuni.org