We assist young people aged 16-29 with a background of delinquency with finding employment or starting studies.

STEP-young person



STEP helps young people aged 16-29 with a criminal background to get into work and education!

The STEP programme was developed in 2015, following the example of the High:five programme operating in Denmark. The programme started its activities under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior, with SA Omanäolise Kooli Development Center taking on the role of development and implementation partner. The first young people joined the programme in 2016, and until 2021, young people aged 15-26 who lived in Tallinn and Harju County were able to join. Since 2022, young people aged 16-29 from all over Estonia who have a criminal background and who need support and assistance in finding a job or starting studies have been able to join the STEP programme.


The vision of STEP is that all young people who want to find a job should have the opportunity to do so and that society should offer young people with a background of delinquency the chance to give back to society.


Bring together young people, responsible employers, educational institutions, public authorities, and third-sector organisations. For its part, the programme will provide a platform to develop a comprehensive solution, suitable for all parties involved, to help young people with a background of delinquency to find a suitable job or apprenticeship and to move on with their lives in a law-abiding manner.


In order to support the young person in finding a suitable job or apprenticeship, a counsellor will be assigned to him or her based on the information provided in the application form. The counsellor will work with the young person through a seven-step counselling process, which will cover the following topics:

  • developing social skills
  • mapping background problems
  • learning motivation and career guidance
  • interests and hobbies
  • addiction problems
  • financial literacy
  • motivation

Completing these stages of counselling is important to increase a young person's chances of entering and staying in work or education. In order to support the continuation of work or education, the counsellor will continue to support the young person and the employer/educational institution for another six months after the start of work/studies.

What else does STEP offer to young people?

STEP has a wide network of partners who help to provide even better support for the young people in the programme. This network is essential to provide additional services that our programme itself cannot offer. These services include:

  • psychological counselling
  • debt counselling
  • addiction treatment
  • training
  • etc.

In addition to its network of partners, STEP also has a network of volunteers, including both individuals and businesses. The aim of the volunteers is to provide young people within the STEP programme with free opportunities to pursue interests and hobbies of their choice. Our volunteers offer young people:

  • language learning
  • music lessons
  • sporting opportunities
  • opportunities to practise different arts
  • etc.

STEP helps 16-29-year-olds with a background of delinquency get into work and education!

A STEP programme youth:

  • 16-29 years old
  • Has committed an offence
  • Not in education or employment
  • Has not been in education or training
  • Communicates in Estonian, Russian, or English
  • Has ceased illegal activities
  • Does not use drugs

Joining STEP is voluntary and free of charge. Simply fill out the application form and you will be contacted by the programme coordinator.