Jaakko’s story from Vantti: a permanent job as a Christmas present

Project News

TEXT | Marika Viherlaiho

Food service worker Jaakko Toljander is a cheerful and nice man even more when he has a good reason for a broad smile. In December, Toljander got a permanent job through the Urban Growth Project in the company Vantti.

Toljander was an unemployed job seeker for two years before hearing about the Urban Growth – GSIP Vantaa project in the City of Vantaa. Through GSIP 1 model project partner Vantti employs immigrants, partially disabled, low-skilled and long-term unemployed persons.

Once, the guys at the Employment Service Marketplace spoke about the Urban Growth Project and introduced it to me. I went to a job interview and was selected for a work trial experiment. I thought I had nothing to lose. A successful work trial led to a permanent employment contract for Simokoti on Christmas Eve.

Jaakko Toljander

Simonkoti is a retirement home owned by the City of Vantaa, where Vantti provides kitchen services. For his employment Vantti utilized payroll support (national incentive) and Vantaa recruitment support (Vantaa city incentive).

From job experiment to permanent job in three months

Jaakko has long work experience in food business. He has worked for various catering companies, the Society and, for some twenty years, at Amica staff restaurants. Project coordinator Minna Tuomi Vantti was convinced of Toljander’s CV and skills in the interview. 

Jaakko was one of the first candidates for the Urban Growth project, who was employed through the business cooperation networks created in the project. He had been 1.5 months in the work trial when a manager came across the corridor and said that Jaakko was a wonderful employee and we wanted to hire him for an indefinite term.

Minna Tuomi, Vantti

Over 20 persons employed in half a year

In addition to Toljander’s story, the project is a real success story for Vantti in terms of employment

Vantti has opened recruitment possibilities for more than 20 unemployed persons over the past six months. They have employed part-time workers and those in difficult labor situations. 

Through public tendering, the City of Vantaa may include an employment obligation in its procurement. Vantti is one of the service providers who has employment criteria, they have to recruit people in vulnerable work situation every year.

Through this project alone, we have met the employment targets set by the city for us. As a company who has real problems to find new work force, it’s been important to start thinking about new ways to recruit. Networking through the Urban Growth project has created new recruitment channels and ways to support employment and be socially responsible.

Minna Tuomi, Vantti

Urban Growth – GSIP Vantaa project has created first Growth and Social investment pact model for Vantaa companies and other actors. The social investment is a service and information model for companies to create tailored recruitment paths for people who are otherwise difficult to employ. 32% of Vantaa’s population are low-skilled and 20% are immigrants. Thus, there has been a real need for the project.

The Urban Growth – GSIP Vantaa project has accelerated the recruitment process, and is now able to employ experts like Jaakko Toljander more easily. Normal recruitment is slow and some candidates may remain in the system. That is why networking outside the TE Center is important for the right job seekers and companies to meet.

Minna Tuomi, Vantti

The article was originally published in the UIA Project News on March 25, 2020.