The new qualification will be taken into use on 1 August 2010 in all secondary level institutions that provide education in the abovementioned fields.
The new qualification has the aim of promoting the development of versatile skills and this will make graduates more prepared for work in the different tasks of the forest industry than earlier training programmes did. The first graduates will be leaving school in 2013. Modernisation of the basic vocational qualification has the goal of promoting new kinds of competence and the development of versatile skills – these are needed because of the rising level of automation at mills and factories as well as for enhancing the efficiency of processes and production functions.
In practice, possessing versatile skills means that process employees have strong, “multidisciplinary” competence, which enables them to handle, on top of their regular manufacturing duties, the most common faults or other interruptions occurring at night or on the weekend.
Because paper industry employees work in shifts, it is not necessary for one person to have competence in all matters as workers with expertise in different areas can be included in one shift. Workers with versatile skills should also be capable of transferring to a different position within a shift roster or be prepared to receive training for new responsibilities if so agreed.
The vocational subjects included in the new qualification focus on fostering competence in skills that are needed to support and maintain processes across the whole of the process industry. In addition to this, teaching of basic knowledge on, for example, physics and chemistry as well as safety skills will be strengthened. A substantial portion of the new qualification’s curriculum will be devoted to subjects that are compulsory to all students. These include mathematics, chemistry and physics, electrical engineering and automation as well as energy economics and hydraulics. Industry-specific knowledge and skills will be focused on during the final stages of studies and the on-the-job component of the programme.
The new vocational qualification for the process industry has the aim of making education more interesting and flexible so that participating students find employment and can easily deepen their competence even when employed. The new qualification will improve the efficiency of educational resource utilisation because it will make it possible to reduce the provision of overlapping training in vocational subjects that are relevant across the processing industry. The new qualification also better meets the requirements of working life because production tasks nowadays call for versatile skills and a strong ability to work as part of a team.
The ongoing powerful renewal of the sector has been taken into account by the planners of the new training programme. Preparatory work for the new basic qualification for the processing industry commenced three years ago. Drafting of the curriculum of the new qualification will be completed in 2009 and implemented at all pertinent vocational institutes on 1 August 2010.
Päivi Luoma, Director for R&D, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +358 (0)9 132 6626
Päivi Turtiainen, Finnish Paper Workers’ Union, email@example.com, Tel. +358 (0)9 708 9203