From our northern correspondent:
A clerk in the Finnish unemployment office noticed an announcement that Sinfonia Lahti is looking for a viola player for the orchestra. In Finnish language violin is viulu, and viola is alttoviulu.
The clerk sent a letter to all violin players in the province listed as unemployed, telling them they must apply for the viola job – or lose all unemployment benefits for three months.
Many professional string players in Finland are freelances who are officially listed as unemployed. They have been unsettled by this letter.
The director of South Finland’s unemployment office has responded: ‘A client is supposed to tell us his history, his skills and plans. An expert will then assess if the client’s skills are matching with any open vacancies.
If a violin player has been offered the position of a viola player, perhaps there is a thought that a violinist can also play the viola. The idea is that different options are being offered on a fairly wide scale.