ESR- Networks behind new growth project description

In the broad picture, the traditional, one-track path from studies to working life and retirement has eroded and been replaced by interdisciplinarity, overlapping career paths, self-employment, and the reconciliation of work and entrepreneurship.

The labor market calls for continuous learning and active participation throughout life. The support of networks and communities is emphasized in employment, and in the digital world, various networks of experts provide forums for the development of professional skills and access to peer support. The increasing numbers of sole entrepreneurs and temporary, casual and part-time work are increasing the number of not only potential employers, but also people who do not have traditional employer support in developing skills. 

In addition to the changes described above, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the field of employment and entrepreneurship. Due to the pandemic, several young people have been left without summer jobs and internships, in addition to which numerous recent graduates have been left without jobs. The pandemic has also caused several fit-for-work people to be currently free in the labor market; former entrepreneurs whose businesses have ceased to exist and laid off people who are looking for a new direction in their careers. 

Until now, public service production has been implemented in a personal and action-driven manner. The service structure has been challenged by non-response to ever-changing customer needs, the lack of a group- and team-level range of services and the weak commitment of customers to certain measures. In addition to the structural challenges of service production, project coordinators in Tampere Region have identified the need to develop the “orchestration competence” of teams, interest groups and ecosystems in a networking environment. 

The project aims to meet the challenges described above by improving the employment qualifications and readiness of jobseekers in a transforming work environment. The project also aims to implement preventive employment management in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reshaping public employment and start-up services in addition to the way they are organized. 

The project will develop group-level services targeted at networks and communities, strengthening the development of new types of skills, personal competences and social capital of the target groups, with the aim of improving the employment and entrepreneurial skills. Service programs are designed based on the identified needs of the team or group, and may include, for example, outsourced coaching, consulting, market research, job mapping, or a combination of these. The experience of international communities and networks is utilized to support the planning. 

The talent communities are supported through various networking and encounter events as well as a digital grouping platform. The teams or groups created in the project will also get a trained community manager to support the setting and achievement of goals, as well as finding paths towards employing ecosystems. 

In addition to the development of group-level customer service, the project develops the preconditions for project actors to organize services in the world of networks and ecosystems. In support of the so-called orchestration expertise, a guidance model will be built to support the emergence of new talent teams and networks and to ensure adequate support for talent teams during development. Orchestration and facilitation support groups in solving challenges and achieving goals in a customer-oriented manner, utilizing the means of service design. 

The project will be implemented through eight work packages. The concrete results of the project will be network mapping and surveys that increase customer knowledge, project model built by project coordinators to meet the service needs of groups, service programs utilizing service design, a digital teamwork platform, a knowledge management model and a follow-up between project collaborators, events and opportunities to promote matchmaking solution models, and a European-level specialist network to support peer learning between international communities. The project seeks new types of services and ways of producing services to improve the situation of people in a vulnerable position in the labor market. The aim is to improve the efficiency and customer-orientation of the production of expert services and to strengthen the management and utilization of networks and ecosystems. The project will generate a wealth of expertise in the production of group-level services and the management of such service production. 

The target group of the project is people in a weak labor market position who do not have sufficient networks and contacts in working life, but who have a desire to form an interest group or join an existing interest group. Target group includes, for example, young people, recent graduates, unemployed jobseekers, career changers, international professionals and people with an immigrant background, as well as those interested in entrepreneurship. The project also takes into account the self-employed and, indirectly, those employers who have problems with the availability of skilled labor.