"The forest industry’s vocational and university teaching should come more closely in line with expertise requirements. In particular these constitute preparedness, together with group work and foreman/-woman skills, as well as the ability to extend personal expertise and transfer from one job to another. An understanding of the customer’s business remains a fundamental requirement of successful corporate activities," the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s President, Anne Brunila, stressed in her speech on 2 November 2007 at a seminar in Helsinki arranged by the Forest, wood and paper sector training development working group under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the National Board of Education.
The worker of the future in the forest sector will be capable of handling the processes, engaging in fruitful cooperation, and working easily within a group. He/she will have the basic requirements in chemistry and physics, in addition to good work management and foreman/-woman’s skills. He/she will be familiar with the products and customers’ requirements and understand the economic bases. Additionally, he/she will possess adequate language skills to enable him/her to survive in an internationalising operating environment. Employees with such a broad array of capabilities will assist in the smooth running of the mill and work safely and efficiently in all kinds of work situations and tasks.
Finland’s forest cluster’s research strategy lays down the outlines for university and college instruction and the development of teaching programmes. The research strategy calls for the different science disciplines and areas of expertise to be innovatively combined while at the same time making use of new scientific fields. The forest industry also hopes for design and modern wood architecture to be included in training.
"University education needs to be supplemented by customer orientation, business acumen in the sector, entrepreneurship, and an overall grasp of business principles", Anne Brunila added.
Brunila feels that the importance of expertise and training as success factors will continue to grow. Persistent, systematic work in training is necessary to ensure competitive ability in the forest industry.