NGOs as Employers in Finland: A Case Study of Jyväskylän Katulähetys in the City of Jyväskylä

By Thomas Babila Sama, PhD.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This is a qualitative study which examines one NGO as an employer in the Finnish City of Jyväskylä. The case study NGO is Jyväskylän Katulähetys and empirical data for the study was collected from 16 employees and from an official of the NGO, using questionnaires, interviews and participant observation. All the respondents were aged between 26 and 53, and they had been unemployed between 1.5 and 10 years. The data was analysed through content analysis and the findings revealed that, the NGO employs predominantly long-term unemployed people from disadvantaged groups such as alcoholics, drug addicts and ex-convicts, on a 1-2 year contract basis. As a result, the NGO was found playing an important role in the employment of long-term unemployed people in the City of Jyväskylä, because the long-term unemployed face difficulties in getting employed both in the public and private sectors, due to their lack of academic and/or professional qualifications. However, the skill development training of the NGO was found to be inadequate for enhancing the employability of their employees in the open labour market at the end of their contract. Thus, the study concluded that for the NGO to become a potential employer in the City of Jyväskylä, it must improve the skill development training of their employees, and also increase collaboration with other stakeholders that are working towards the same objectives.

Keywords: Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), Third Sector, Finland, Employment, Unemployment, Employment Subsidy

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.85-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 611.121KB).

Dr Thomas Babila Sama, PhD

PhD Student, Unit of Social and Public Policy, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

I am a first year Postgraduate Student in Social and Public Policy in the University of Jyväskylä. Prior to my Postgraduate study in Autumn 2007, I earned a Master’s of Social Sciences degree in the same University of Jyväskylä in Summer 2007. My Bachelor’s degree which I completed in 2003 in the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon, is in Anthropology. Prior to my Bachelor’s degree and within the study, I worked as a teacher in Elementary and Secondary Schools in Cameroon for 9 years. It was in 2004 that I moved to Finland to pursue my Master’s study in Social and Public Policy, in the University of Jyväskylä. Presently, I am looking for projects that relate to my research interests. I am interested in researching the work done by NGOs or third sector organizations, particularly those involving employment and social and health services. My research interests also include volunteering, income generation in NGOs and project evaluation in NGOs.


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