Eligibility requirements for applicants under 25 years

If you are between 18 and 24 years of age, unemployed, and you do not have vocational qualifications, you are obliged to apply for a place of study. Apply to study on a programme that will start next autumn, lead to an exam and improve your vocational skills.

If you do not apply for a place of study, if you turn down an offer of a place of study or if you have dropped out of your studies, you may lose your entitlement to unemployment benefits until further notice. Your entitlement to unemployment benefits will be is restored, when you

  • have completed a vocational qualification
  • during a minimum of 21 calendar weeks been in employment that fulfills the work requirement, participated in employment promoting services, studied on a full-time basis, or you have been primarily self-employed or independently employed.
  • turn 25 years old.

Even if you have lost your entitlement to unemployment benefit until further notice, you can get unemployment benefits for periods of participation in employment-promotion services .

If you do not have vocational qualifications, you must complete a 5-month qualifying period to be eligible for labour market subsidy.

The TE Services check if you have applied for a place of study. Kela receives this information from the TE Services and will pay you unemployment benefit provided that the requirements are met.

Persons aged under 18 years must complete compulsory education

Compulsory education will be extended at the beginning of August 2021

Compulsory education will be extended at the beginning of August 2021. This means that persons aged under 18 years must, after leaving comprehensive school, start a secondary education. The extension will apply to young people who leave comprehensive school in or after 2021.

If you are 17 years old, you can get an unemployment benefit (basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy) if you have completed compulsory education, i.e. completed vocational qualifications or the matriculation exam.

You can also get an unemployment benefit if you have had to interrupt the completion of compulsory education for instance because of a long-term illness. 

If you are a 17-year-old unemployed and you have completed compulsory education but you have not obtained vocational qualifications, you can only get labour market subsidy for the period that you participate in employment-promoting services.

Read more