Verke What is digital youth work? And what does Verke do?

The core mission of Verke has been to strengthen the expertise of professionals working with young people for over 13 years in various youth work organisations and educational institutions, amidst digitalisation and youth cultural changes.

Verke has also increased its international visibility and actively participated in European cooperation. Verke’s history has been a multi-phase journey reflecting the development of youth work and the significance of digitalization in the field.

The strategy responds to the pace of change

In a society that is becoming increasingly digitalized, technologized, and information-filled, the pace of change in the operating environment requires rapid assimilation and response.

In the future, Verke’s core mission will continue to be to support the well-being and active citizenship of young people by providing information, education, and work methods for utilizing, handling, and applying digital media and technology in youth work. In practice, this may mean, for example, supporting young people’s participation in youth work by utilizing artificial intelligence. The starting point is to act as a reliable partner and expert, as well as an open-minded futurist with a “propeller hat” on.

 “Digital youth work simply means using or addressing digital media and technology in youth work. It can be either a tool, activity or content in youth work. The primary goal of digital youth work is to support the agency of young people in a digitalised society.”

Completion of the competence centre period 2020–2023 

For the past four years, Verke has operated as the main implementer of the Ministry of Education and Culture -funded the Centre of Expertise for Digital Youth Work. As a partner co-implementer, Koordinaatti from the city of Oulu has been involved. The competence centre period ended in March 2024. Mikko Vatka, Director of Youth Affairs, stated, “After this, Verke will continue its activities as part of the youth services of the City of Helsinki. The world of young people is strongly digital, and in this world, we must strongly act to support youth agency.”

Towards a new period with the support of the City of Helsinki 

Competence centre activities are outlined in the Youth Act, and the scope of tasks is defined in government terms in the National Youth Work and Policy Program (VANUPO). The Government approved the VANUPO program for the 2024–2027 period on March 21, 2024. The grant application for youth work competence centers has also been opened. Verke intends to apply for a new competence center period to strengthen foresight and thinking about the future, as well as the expertise of youth sector organizations in the digital well-being, rights, and safety of young people. Meanwhile, Verke will operate in accordance with its strategy, looking confidently towards the future, supporting both the goal-oriented implementation of digital youth work in the City of Helsinki and numerous other youth sector organizations facing similar challenges.


The National Youth Work and Policy Program 2024–2027 on the Ministry of Education and Culture’s website.

Verke's international activities

photo of a registration sheet hanging on the wall at the Somecamp EU event

Verke's international activities

Verke is highly networked in developing the European digital youth work field and is as an active actor in Erasmus+ for youth programme, especially strategic partnership projects. We are also giving consultation, keynote speeches and other forms of expert inputs in international settings. Please note, that within our mandate, we are mainly only able to engage with projects where the setting is actually international (ie. we cannot come and train mainly national actors), the request is within our digital youth work / youth field mandate, and we can reasonably see an added benefit for the Finnish youth field. All requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Minna or Panu via e-mail on any international requests.