General

Forecasting business and employment trends and competence, education and training needs

Analysing and forecasting changes in the operating environment are closely linked with the preparation of strategies and performance planning carried out at ELY Centres and regional councils.  ELY Centres collect information on the state of their regions' business, environment, and infrastructure and employment opportunities and anticipate future development trends.  The aim is to support regional decision-making by ensuring that enough facts are available.

Forecasting of education and training needs helps to improve regional competitiveness.  ELY Centres are responsible for the anticipation of adult education needs and take part in the forecasting of long-term education and training needs coordinated by regional councils. The aim is to ensure that the regional supply of education and training is in accordance with the demand.   Sharing forecasting information and providing information on the results are central to the forecasting work carried out at ELY Centres.

Structural Fund tasks

The aim of the regional and structural policy of the European Union is to balance regional differences between Member States and alleviate structural problems affecting the regions. Regional and structural policy is based on support granted from EU funds, which is always combined with national funding. 

ELY Centres play a significant role as authorities granting EU funding and as drivers of regional development. EU structural funds provide additional funding for activities that help to improve competence and competiveness in Finland and expand employment opportunities. The aim is also to ensure that both regions and their residents can enjoy equal opportunities and to prevent social exclusion.

ELY Centres grant support from the following funds: 

  • European Regional Development Fund
  • European Social Fund
  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 
  • European Fisheries Fund

Co-operation with neighbouring areas and international activities

ELY Centres are responsible for the implementation of a number of neighbouring area co-operation projects between Finland and Russia. 

For Finland, the main aim of the co-operation with neighbouring areas is to support economic and social development in areas adjacent to Finland and to provide a sound basis for co-operation between the authorities, business and ordinary citizens.  In Finland, coordination of the neighbouring area co-operation is the responsibility of the Unit for Regional Cooperation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

In the co-operation with neighbouring areas, the focus is on the promotion of economic co-operation.  The aim is also to advance environmental protection and nuclear safety, to combat threats arising from infectious diseases and drugs, to support the strengthening of the civil society and to promote administrative and legal reforms.

Northwest Russia (particularly the Republic of Karelia, the Leningrad region, the Murmansk Oblast and Saint Petersburg) is the most important region for Finland's neighbouring area co-operation. However, economic co-operation may also be carried out with partners in other areas of Russia that are important to Finland.

ELY Centres promote international and neighbouring area co-operation in the field of education, libraries, sports and youth work. ELY Centres provide information on the services offered by the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO).