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The Rainer (Roma energy through education) projects seeks to facilitate labour market entry for the Roma people. The objective is to improve the level of education among the Roma population in Central Finland. Other measures foreseen in the project – such as increasing general awareness of the Roma culture – will generate added value to the existing services and improve access to the range of services available.

The project seeks to support the Roma in acquiring an education, learning a trade, finding employment and succeeding at work. The project will address the obstacles to the acquisition of an education and completion of qualifications through assistance provided by sponsors and family work.

A coaching programme will be provided for the target group with the aim of supporting and reinforcing the Roma’s training and work life skills. The programme is based on participation and engagement. The programme will be implemented by partners working in pairs by drawing upon the expertise of parties with experience in this field.

The role of Central Finland Centre of Excellence on Social Welfare in this project is to include the Roma issues in the centre’s services as a special priority area. The plan is to create a framework for the dissemination and promotion of good practices in the Roma services by making use of the existing social welfare and multi-professional networks at the local, regional and national level. The inclusion of the nationwide centre of excellence network in the Roma network will in the long term increase the level of expertise in Roma issues among the social welfare professionals. The goal is to improve the standard of the basic services available to the Roma population offered by the municipalities and promote equality and non-discrimination. An important part of the performance of this type of special service is coordinated research and development efforts in this area.

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