Omnia is a Ministry of Education and Culture licensed, multidisciplinary education provider and regional development centre founded in 1982, with 900 staff members. It is a non-profit organization, located in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area, and owned by three metropolitan municipalities, the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen and the municipality of Kirkkonummi. The courses and qualifications range from the equivalent of EQF levels three to six. All qualification programmes are accredited by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The annual turnover is in the range of 85 million euros.
Omnia offers a wide range of services with a focus to support lifelong learning: vocational upper secondary education, professional career-related and apprenticeship training, general upper secondary education, corporate training workshops and liberal adult education courses. One of the strategic priorities is to use education as a mean to fight against social exclusion and to prevent discrimination.
The new Basic Treaty of Omnia, recently endorsed by the councils of owner municipalities, reinforces Omnia’s strategic position in the region. While education and the operational environment are constantly changing and transforming, Omnia takes on to intensify its role in promoting inclusion, skills and well-being of citizens and in boosting the vitality of municipalities, communities and enterprises of the region. To achieve these commitments, Omnia is determined to support and involve the region’s non-Finnish speaking and immigrant population as well as citizens without a qualification, work or a study place.
A better response to the needs of companies is being delivered through tailored and targeted market-based services. Omnia will upgrade and reinforce the skills and professional competence of the staff of member municipalities. In close cooperation with education and business life, member municipalities, clients and stakeholders Omnia develops nationally and internationally sustainable innovative education products and digital tools to address future challenges and problems. Promotion and provision of sustainable export services in education is among the key tasks. To that end, Omnia also acts as an exemplary hub of education knowhow for visitors and official delegations.
On an annual basis, Omnia offers education and training to:
- 1500 students in general upper secondary education
- 8600 students studying for vocational qualifications (EQF level 4) or career-related professional qualifications (EQF 4 and 5)
- 22 500 students in liberal adult education courses
Omnia is a powerful, regional actor in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland and also an internationally recognized partner. Nationally Omnia cooperates with cities, chambers of commerce, organisations and entrepreneurs as well as trade unions within education and training. Omnia has well-established links with the labour market and it acts in an agile manner responding to the changing needs of the labour market. As a development centre, Omnia has close ties with social partners. Apart from training and anticipation, Omnia participates in regional and national level dialogue in many training sectors. Piloting, think tanks and innovation work at regional and national levels are also within the scope of Omnia’s work. Omnia has co-operation agreements with over 2000 companies in the region.
The Finnish National Agency for Education has selected Omnia as a national professional development provider. By combining teacher training, piloting new pedagogy and designing learning environments, Omnia is also the home of a unique entrepreneurial hub.
Omnia is a forerunner in national and international education development projects focusing on systematic, sustainable solutions in both the K-12 and vocational education and training sectors. Omnia has worked for unifying the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) since 2004. The focus in ECVET implementation is to create vocational units by describing the core content of curriculum as learning outcomes (LO), knowledge (K), skills (S) and competences (C).
Omnia has received a national quality award from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Internationally Omnia has been recognised for innovation and entrepreneurship by OECD and the European Training Foundation. Omnia has also been featured as a best practice case in the WISE book Learning a Living: Radical Innovation in Education for Work and the WISE Research Series: Entrepreneurship Education – A Global Consideration from Practice to Policy around the World.
Omnia has partnered with national-level organizations, including ministries, to support education reform, for example, in Egypt, Kosovo, Tunisia and Greece. These large-scale projects have paved the way for the Finnish National Agency for Education selecting Omnia as one of the Finnish organisations licensed to offer accredited vocational and professional qualifications in non-EU countries.