The Centre of Expertise for Youth Research

Pictured left to right: Statistical Researcher Tiina Hakanen, Researcher Teemu Vauhkonen, Senior Researcher Leena Haanpää, Research Director Sinikka Aapola-Kari, Leading Senior Researcher Mikko Salasuo and Research Professor Tommi Hoikkala. Missing from the picture: Senior Researcher Tomi Kiilakoski.

The Centre of Expertise for Youth Research operates in connection with the Youth Research Network. The Centres of Expertise are new units which have been created by the Ministry of Education and Culture and which will be developing the youth sector according to the aims of the National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme (VANUPO) 2017–2019. There are twelve Centres of Expertise in total working on four different focus areas. Their first term lasts two years, from 2018 to 2019.

The Centre of Expertise for Youth Research focuses on developing the services, quality and methods of youth work. It aims to produce reliable and up-to-date research data on the living conditions of young people and youth sector to support both the decision-making within youth policy and the entire youth sector. The work of the Centre of Expertise within the Youth Research Network is led by Research Director Sinikka Aapola-Kari.

The Centre of Expertise functions only make up a small part of the activities of the Youth Research Society and the Youth Research Network, which carries out research within the Society. The majority of the activities and the research will continue to be funded by the general grant from the Ministry of Education and Culture and research funding from other sources. Out of the basic funding granted by the ministry, approximately 75 per cent is a general grant and 25 per cent is funding for the Centre of Expertise. The funding for the Centre of Expertise makes up approximately 14 per cent of the total 2018 budget of the Youth Research Network.

The extra funding for the Centre of Expertise will support the following projects of the Youth Research Network:

I Services for NEET youth and their costs and allocation

The aim of the project is to examine previous research on and impact metrics of activation measures aimed at NEET-youth (youth not in employment, education or training) – particularly regarding workshops and outreach youth work – and create a synthesis on these. Based on the results, the project team will publish a publication and an impact indicator.

Project director: Research Professor Tommi Hoikkala
Project researcher: Researcher Teemu Vauhkonen

More information about the project.

II Children and young people’s equal opportunities to have hobbies in Finland

The aim of the project is to study the realisation of opportunities for children and young people to have hobbies on a national level with an emphasis on municipalities. The aim is to clarify in particular which hobby activities are offered by municipalities and organisations and the financial resources allocated to these, as well as the accessibility of these activities. The study aims to promote equal opportunities to hobbies.

Project director: Leading Senior Researcher
Project researcher: Senior Researcher Leena Haanpää

More information about the project.

III The architecture of youth work education in Finland

The aim of the study is to create an overview of the education in Finnish youth work, which is on a good level by European standards. The goal is to see how the learning of youth workers is supported in Finland, particularly within formal education. The project will produce a description of Finnish youth work for a European audience and analyse the practices which relate to Finnish youth work education. The research report will be published in English in 2019.

Project researcher: Senior Researcher Tomi Kiilakoski

More information about the project.

IV Information requirements and assessments

Part of the research funding has been granted in order to produce various kinds of up-to-date studies on young people and the youth sector which the government needs, and in order to create international networks within the youth sector. This function of the Centre of Expertise does not constitute the kind of independent research project that is typical for the Youth Research Network.

Project researcher: Statistical Researcher Tiina Hakanen

More information about the project.

More information

Sinikka Aapola-Kari

Sinikka Aapola-Kari

Research Director

DSocSc, Docent

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+358-44-416 5303

Researcher profile