Soste: The educational level of young Finns has fallen below the OECD average

The educational level of young people in Finland has fallen from the top of the industrialized countries to the middle level, says the Confederation of Finnish Social and Health Care.

Contrary to popular belief, young adults are not necessarily more educated than retiring age groups. According to the association, the level of education could be raised by increasing the number of university places and expanding compulsory education.

The federal government on Friday expressed concern about the relatively rapid decline in educational attainment and is calling for major changes to reverse this trend. Since the peak years of the early 2000s, the educational attainment of young people in the country has fallen to about the same level as those of those leaving the labor market.

According to the organization, young Finns are now less educated than their OECD counterparts on average. The members of the OECD include 38 economically developed democracies.

The shortage of labor is related to the level of education

According to Finnish education statistics, only the share of basic education (which has traditionally ended at the age of about 16) is at the same level among those aged 20–24 as among those aged 60–64. At the same time, the share of the highly educated in the 55-64 age group has been higher than in the 25-34 age group for several years.

According to the organization, the current labor shortage is related to the halt in the growth of the level of education. According to its study, the share of skilled labor is now relatively higher in many countries than Finland. In some cases, the proportion of highly educated age groups is twice as high as here, it says.

Compulsory education at university level?

"The young Finns of the early 2000s, who were once the most educated in the world, still seem to be the most educated age group in the country," said Aleksi Kalenius, Soste senior expert.

According to Sosten, the goal of education policy that half of young people will complete a university degree by 2030 is slipping out of reach.

Even to approach this goal, Soste believes policymakers should reconsider whether this year’s extension of compulsory schooling to 18 is enough – or whether it will be further extended to cover higher education.

In addition, thousands of new places should be available at universities, especially in the social and health sectors, the group urges.

Soste is the umbrella organization of about 200 Finnish social and health NGOs, which was founded in 2012.

Source: The Nordic Page


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