Employment A year ago, Auli Leskinen was a 60-year-old invisible jobseeker who did not even receive a response to her applications – then she received a surprising call from Oulu

In the long run, the employment of the 55-64 age group has improved and the Korona period has not pushed the elderly out of working life in particular. Still, age discrimination still occurs.

Year then in the fall Auli Leskinen was worried and angry.

He was concerned about his own work situation and was angered by the government’s plans to eliminate the possibility of a retirement tube, ie additional days of earnings-related unemployment insurance.

Leskinen’s term as development manager in the Finnish business network was coming to an end. He had applied for a new job without success.

As a 60-year-old job seeker, Widow felt invisible. He knew many comrades in fate — older people of older age who had a hard time getting a new job to replace an employment relationship that had ended.

Read more: Plans to remove the pension tube are a concern for older jobseekers – “In our sixties, our job applications are not even answered,” says Auli Leskinen, PhD and researcher

In December, the government decided to remove the retirement tube option. But what happened to Auli Leskinen?

Widowed, 61, answers the phone on the morning of November at his home in Espoo. He is preparing for an evening-focused working day, as the work involves contacting South America, where the clock is six hours behind Finnish time.

In the autumn of 2020, Leskinen received a call from the Oulu-based IT company Tuudo Oy. The company’s main product is a mobile application that brings together student services and is used in many Finnish universities.

The company also exports to Latin America. Auli Leskis was asked to work because she has a long experience in the field as a journalist, researcher and in the field of educational exports.

Last March, in the midst of the still surging coronavirus pandemic, Leskinen took up a permanent job as Tuudo’s Executive Vice President for Latin America.

“They didn’t even talk about age, they just talked about skills. I was really pleased and extremely taken with the fact that I was trusted and believed, ”she says.

Leskinen works mainly in Espoo, but regularly visits his work community in Oulu and has already made his first business trip to Colombia.

“At this age, I have learned a new field that is related to my previous fields of work. I’ve had a challenging job, but I’m having a good time at work, and things have progressed as well. The experience I gained from my age and my knowledge of the area has definitely been of use, ”he says.

“I don’t understand how you can afford to keep experts my age unemployed during a labor shortage. I know several doctors like me, the long-term unemployed between the ages of 50 and 60. ”

Auli Leskinen knows several highly educated people like her who have had difficulty finding a new job.

As if discrimination still exists in Finland, but it has decreased in the long run and has been talked about, says Statistics Finland’s specialist researcher Marjut Pietiläinen. He has interviewed those who have experienced discrimination in his research.

However, there is no precise information on the prevalence of age discrimination.

According to the Working Conditions Barometer, 7% of wage earners had experienced age-related discrimination last year. Women experience discrimination more often than men. There was almost as much discrimination against young people.

According to Pietiläinen, age discrimination exists in many areas, it can also be job-specific, and it can also involve other grounds for discrimination, such as gender.

“People can have hard educational backgrounds and a lot of work experience. There is a huge untapped potential in the labor market if you do not get back into work, ”he says.

Read more: The removal of the pension tube is a historic decision: This is how it practically affects the lives of Finns

Oulu resident Tuudo’s CEO Iikka Meriläinen, 36, hired a widow in her sixties because she wanted an employee who had accumulated a lot of skills and networks.

“The biggest risk of all would have been that I was aiming for the skills of the 60s, but I was in my thirties and wondering if it didn’t go as I imagined,” says Meriläinen.

“The age range of our employees is from about twenty to over sixty years. I think it has been a wealth for us. ”

For the elderly The employment situation has improved in the long run. Ten years ago, the employment rate for people aged 55 to 64 was 57 per cent, now it is 69 per cent.

The corona period has not pushed the elderly out of the labor market. There has been no change in the employment of older women, and the rise in men has even continued.

Specialist researcher at Statistics Finland Hanna Sutela believes that this is mainly due to postponements of retirements during the Corona period.

“Because of the restrictions, there has been no meaningful thing to do. It has been more meaningful to work a few months longer and accumulate a pension than to go home to spin your thumbs, ”he says.

Growing up workers have been recruited in sectors facing labor shortages. For example, professionals who have already retired have been attracted to work in early childhood education and in the care and nursing sector.

According to Sutela, it is interesting to see if the labor shortage will lead employers to recruit older people to work more widely.

Employers may think it is not worthwhile to introduce and hire a person who is only a few years of retirement age. Sutela thinks the argument is not good.

“There is no more guarantee that a thirties will be at work for a long time. If he has good labor market value, he will easily go to seek experience elsewhere as well. The 60-year-old, who gets a job earlier, works for five years in that company and doesn’t go anywhere else, ”says Sutela.

Auli At widowhood, the official retirement age will be 64.5 years after the age of 64.5. However, with his new job, Leskinen has started planning to work longer.

“I find my work so inspiring.”

He says he saw in his previous assignment how years of work lead to results. Even now, if successful, the work can bring development to Latin America and jobs to Finland.

“I would love to see results.”

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