90% ex-Microsoft employees find new careers

14 May 2018, 02:34

  DF Report

Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. Photo Finnish government by Laura Kotila.

Projects, collaboration and support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) have resulted in good outplacement outcomes for the employees laid off by Microsoft, said an official press release.

“We have succeeded well in [achieving] the goal of rapid re-employment. Although we started from an extremely difficult situation, we have received a lot of positive news as experienced professionals have generated new IT companies in Finland and at the same time speeded up the progress of digitalisation,” said Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Microsoft launched Polku, a change transformation programme, in 2015 to help those who were laid off find new jobs or become entrepreneurs. Participation in the programme was voluntary, and it was open for participants for nine months after the expiry of their work obligations. Altogether, 205 companies received support, and 11 per cent of the participants started their own businesses. The Change Training events organised by Microsoft and Employment and Economic Development Offices were attended by 55 per cent of the people who were laid off.

“We are pleased that so many of our former colleagues have found new work through Polku. The programme has been commended by both participants and external actors,” said Rilla Hiillos, the manager of the Microsoft’s Polku programme.

By August 2017, more than 80 per cent of the EGF beneficiaries were re-employed or joined training courses organised by Digiboost, a programme aimed at promoting re-employment of digital specialists and support the digitalisation of existing companies.

“Microsoft bore its corporate social responsibility well in the situation. Microsoft-funded measures and EGF-funded measures have been complementary. Collaboration has been smooth in every direction,” said Minister of Employment Jari Lindström.

In summer 2015, Microsoft announced a major shift in its device strategy and closure of Microsoft Mobile in the following year. More than 3,000 people were laid off. Tampere, Espoo and Salo were the hardest hit, but the whole country was affected indirectly. The aim of the Finnish government and Microsoft was that the people laid off would find new work as soon as possible.