Help is available for young people
Youth services are more than just one space at Imatra.
─ Unfortunately, many people think that we only have one youth facility, the youth services team leader Niina Kupiainen says.
Mansikkala school center Let's chill in the morning young people can visit twice a week. At its best there have been 120 young people there in the evening.
─ We aim to increase the number of open evenings in autumn, Kupiainen says.
Another space, Nuorten kulma, is open three evenings a week for 16–29 year olds in Imatrankoski: There, e.g. The cockpit cafe, the Piristysta arkeien group and the Yhes meeting place for young people.
Now all farm activities are closed due to corona. Starting in March, the youth counselors have been going to the city several evenings a week and meet young people on social media.
There are three youth workers. A large part of the time they work in school youth work, lead small group activities, themed classes and participate in different ways in the everyday life of young people.
─ Everyone is responsible for one school center. We are a close part of the school's everyday life several days a week. This is how we reach huge numbers of young people.
Targeted youth work supports
Basic work does not help if the young person has special concerns. Targeted services are needed for that.
It is available in the cabin and through investigative youth work and the Sytkäri project.
- There are two youth workers, one Control Center advisor and two project people in the targeted work.
Detective youth work supports those who have dropped out of work and studies. The people to be supported are, for example, picked up from home for help. In 2020, 135 young people were guided into the youth work seeking in Imatra.
The cockpit provides advice on questions related to employment, studies and living together with Kela, Eksoten and TE services. Last year, 1415 young people were covered by the service. For example, summer work vouchers are distributed from the Driver's office.
The Sytkäri project operates with ESR funding. The project's target group is 15–29-year-olds who need deeper guidance.
- The schools have had really good support measures, but after that the young person can be left with nothing, says Kupiainen.
Workshops, exercise and band evenings with extra money
The council granted an additional EUR 70 to youth services for this year.
─ We have been able to offer new activities that young people want, such as work
workshops. We started street and performance art workshops. Due to Corona, the performing arts workshop is now on hiatus.
Participatory activities will continue to come. A low threshold
physical activity will be started as soon as Korona allows. Also for holidays
there are things to do, for example next summer we are planning band nights at the corners, implemented together with Imits.
Workpilots for gig work
Youth unemployment is also a problem in Imatra. There were 25 unemployed people under the age of 267 in January.
Youth workers and employment expert Marika Vento are constantly looking for ways to help young people get to know working life.
─ Young people do not make efforts from equal starting points. Obstacles to job hunting may be insufficient job search skills, low self-esteem or loneliness. We need ways in which young people can, for example, be micro-employed, says Vento.
One means of micro-employment is Imatra's new Workpilots application. A young person can download a free application to their phone, which gives them information about open gig jobs. It's easy to apply for a job by pressing a button.
─ Entrepreneurs may need, for example, shelving. The employer can get the author in half an hour. We hope that entrepreneurs and clubs will get excited about this, because it is a concrete way to support and offer work experience to young people. Entrepreneurs can contact Ohjaamo, Kupiainen encourages.
With the continuous and agile development of youth services, the city
strives to live up to its promise of well-being and quality of life
also for young people.
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Once a month, Imatra opens up the background of current affairs online and in a paid feature in Uutisvuoksi magazine. You can influence what topics are covered.
Youth services were selected as a topic this time precisely because the topic had been requested in the survey.
All background stories are stored at: imatra.fi/taustaslakymä
Young people don't make an effort
from equal starting points.
- Employment expert Marika Vento -