In this project we are developing Living Lab activities, which provides solutions to improve employment and strengthens digital skills of young people

The actual target group of the project is young people, who are often said to be digital natives. In practice, young people have different levels of digital skills, especially when talking about groups with learning or language difficulties. Many services have moved online and not all young people have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate online. Deficiencies in digital skills can hinder learning and employment.

The aim of the project is to find solutions to support damage repair caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and to create the basis for recovery. The measures of the project also support the positive development in the long run. According to the Local Government Act, the municipality’s task is to promote the well-being of residents, sustainable development, and vitality of the area. Youth unemployment has risen significantly since last year and this requires solutions for rapid employment. The proportion of young people who have dropped out of education has also increased. Increasing the employment and education of young people in Kouvola would stabilize the regional economy in the long run.

As a solution to the problems caused by the pandemic, we propose co-development of Living Lab activities in Kouvola, in support of the municipal strategy and the welfare plan. The aim is that the development activities will provide solutions to current problems, in particular, the development of young people’s digital skills, to support digital inclusion. The aim is to establish a permanent unit that proactively supports employment measures crossadministratively, and to support the rooting activities.

Different stakeholders, such as companies in various fields, various industries of the City of Kouvola, educational institutions, organizations and projects, as well as residents, ie users of services, are systematically involved in the activities. Innovation workshops design rapid experiments, develop new ideas and test them. Good ideas and practices are rooted. Actions will focus on strengthening young people’s digital skills and developing participants’ ability to act using digital tools. The support and guidance needed by young people will be designed and implemented according to their needs and considering their special needs.

An increase in young people’s digital skills and inclusion, which will support the growth of their ability to enter the labor market. The modeling of Living Lab activities will be described in such a way that the model can be disseminated and utilized in other municipalities as well.

Cooperation between different actors and employment of young people will increase as digital skills develop.

More information

Tanja Mäkelä
Project Manager
p. 040 183 2178

Eeva Hammar
Project Worker
p. 050 348 2160

Jani Lehtinen
RDI Specialist
p. 050 530 1003


Increase - youth employment on the increase in Kouvola

1 September 2021 – 31 August 2023

Project partners

Lead partner: South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Xamk

Focus areas: Sustainable wellbeing
Xamk Research Units: Juvenia


Total budget: € 460 504

XAMK part of the total budget: € 92 101

Financiers and main source of funding: Häme Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Häme ELY Centre): European Social Fund, ESF. The project is funded as part of the European Union’s response to the Covid-19 -pandemic.