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Guidance System in Finland – Introduction

There are two established guidance and counselling systems in Finland, the functions and goals of which are mutually complementary:

  • guidance and counselling provided by education and training institutions, and
  • vocational guidance and career planning services, and educational and vocational information services, provided by employment administration.

The purpose of all guidance and counselling is to support individuals in making educational choices and career plans based on the principle of lifelong learning. Everybody in Finland is entitled to guidance and counselling services regardless of whether they are studying, working, unemployed or outside the labour market. The public sector education and employment authorities and the education providers, normally municipalities, are the main actors responsible for guidance and counselling services. The division of duties between them is clear. Education and training institutions bear the main responsibility for guidance and counselling of pupils and students, whereas the Employment and Economic Development Offices are primarily intended for those outside education and training.