Press release

Millions of third-world youngsters do not have vocational training – Finnish teacher education institutions help in solving the problem

Ryhmäkuva AOKit
Kuvateksti: In the photo from the left to right, signers of the agreement Iiris Happo (OAMK), Hanna Ilola (TAMK), Jouni Hemberg (KUA), Jari Laukia (Haaga-Helia), Seija Mahlamäki-Kultanen (HAMK) and Heikki Pusa (JAMK).
Finnish professional teacher education institutions and Finn Church Aid (FCA) have started cooperation in order to offer Finnish education expertise for developing countries. Professional teacher education institutions of Haaga-Helia, Häme (HAMK), Jyväskylä (JAMK), Tampere (TAMK) and Oulu (OAMK) Universities of Applied Sciences signed an agreement on starting cooperation with Finn Church Aid on 15 January 2020.

The cooperation aims at developing vocational training in countries where Finn Church Aid (FCA) operates. FCA operates in many of the world’s most fragile countries where vocational training and teacher education are insufficient or non-existent.

“Vocational training is becoming a focus area of development cooperation alongside development of basic education. This can be seen in interests of fragile countries and development cooperation financiers. TAMK Professional Teacher Education supports Finn Church Aid’s work in fragile countries with its references and experience. In practice, this means teacher education, development of vocational education systems and pedagogy as well as development of stakeholder networks. The cooperation also offers TAMK’s teachers the possibility to develop their competence in development cooperation,” tells Director Hanna Ilola from Tampere University of Applied Sciences’ Professional Teacher Education.

The educational cooperation will include education of guidance counsellors and vocational teachers, research cooperation, export of Finnish professional bachelor’s degrees and development of the educational sector and vocational curricula in cooperation with local ministries.

“When Finland started to develop its vocational training, it searched for influences from abroad. Our aim is not to export or copy the Finnish system as such but to participate in building systems in the developing countries”, says Jari Laukia, Director of Haaga-Helia School of Vocational Teacher Education.

Youth unemployment is a growing problem

The global need for vocational training is huge. Nine out of ten youngsters in the world live in developing countries. In Africa alone, over 10 million youngsters enter the labour market every year but only 3 million new jobs are created there annually. According to the UN (2019), the unemployment probability is twice as high among the youth compared to adults.

“In many African countries, companies recruit professionals from abroad, partly because there is no skilled labour in the countries. As there are no vocational institutions, the local youth has no competence to sell and they end up unemployed”, says Carita Cruz, FCA’s Senior Thematic Adviser.

The growing number of unemployed youngsters is not just the business life’s problem. Research has shown that the need for work is the primary reason for joining many extremist organisations.

Fortunately many countries have become conscious of the need for vocational training. Finnish teaching expertise has successfully been exported to developing countries and new cooperation forms enable considerable growth in the activity in the future.

“We in Finland have a unique teacher education system. The system would also be applicable abroad. Now could be the time for a joint concept”, says Martti Majuri from Häme University of Applied Sciences.


Further information:

Hanna Ilola, (TAMK) professional teacher education cooperation, tel. +358 400 263 675, hanna.ilola [at]

Carita Cruz, Senior Thematic Adviser, Finn Church Aid, tel. +358 40 183 6709, carita.cruz [at]


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