Three hundred Vantaa junior high school students begin work-based basic education

In addition to the traditional flexible basic-education classes, Vantaa has devised a new model for work-based basic education, according to which 8th—9th-graders spend 5-7 weeks during the school year while learning by working in different workplaces.

As of fall 2019, work-based basic education will be offered in all of Vantaa's junior high schools and comprehensive schools, and it will either take the form of the new work-based basic education (TEPPO) model or the class-form flexible basic education (JOPO) model. As far as its extent is concerned, the TEPPO model is unique in Finland. Around 300 students will begin work-based basic education, and some of the basic-education student counselors will focus on heading and developing work-based basic education.

Work-based basic education aims to support young persons’ self-knowledge and identification of their own strengths, motivation, responsibility and activeness, as well as their decision-making skills and time-use management.

The model was piloted last school year in eight Vantaa basic schools. Based on the results, learning-by-working periods provided the students with, for example, courage to face new situations as well as confidence in choosing their own field after basic school. On average, the students gave the activities the school grade 8.8, whereas the guardians rated them at 9.

“The model serves all kinds of learners and also accounts for those who learn better by doing than by reading. Learning-by-working periods offer students additional challenges, when required, but also support, for example, integration,” says education expert Kirsi Viitaila.

“I gained a clear picture of working life and may already know my future vocation, thanks to TEPPO activities,” tells a student.

“Many students also say that thanks to the focus on work-based basic education, studying at school goes better than before. Twenty percent of the respondents told that they also won a summer job,” enthuses Viitaila.

According to the guardians, work-based basic education has especially affected the young persons’ courage and self-assurance, future plans, and attitude toward school attendance.

Employer: offer the young experiences in working life

Based on the results of the pilot, employers are satisfied with the young persons’ input at the workplace. Cooperation opens up a possibility for the employers to, for instance, make their business and workplace known. In addition, employers have been able to utilize the young persons’ fresh ideas about developing the workplace processes as well as to gain summer employees.

Employers are given the required instructions and documents, and they will not incur any costs from employing the young. The schools have contact persons that instruct both the young and the employers. The most important task of the workplace is to name an instructor for the young person as well as to induct and instruct the young at the workplace.

The young and restaurateur Pekka Terävä of Restaurant Olo share their experiences of work-based basic education on the video at: (in Finnish)

Read more about work-based basic education.

Published: 8.8.2019 
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