Joshua Jampol. Journalist
20 March 2003
Despite a sluggish economy, Finland’s companies recruited over 70,000 new workers in 2002. While new employees were needed to replace retirees or job-changers, increased business activity in the nation demanded more personnel.
The need for additional workers jumped 60 percent over 2001. Companies report, in particular, high demand for skilled personnel in the technology sectors.
This information is based on a report of industrial qualification needs, prepared by the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers, or TT (in Finnish: http://www.tt.fi/arkisto/getoriginal.pl7ft_cid=3084). Member enterprises of the TT were asked about their recruitment and qualification needs for the year, and how they see workforce requirements changing in the next two years. This was the fourth time the survey was carried out.
Companies stated that 40 percent of their new personnel would be recruited from secondary-level vocational institutions and nearly 50 percent from higher-education institutions. The remainder will qualify through apprenticeship training or the enterprises’ own in-house programs.
The need for skilled workers is still great in Finland. Firms estimated that last year they needed to hire 13,000 people with secondary-level vocational qualifications. Over 4,000 of these would be employed in the metal industry. Other sectors employing upper secondary vocational education and training (VET)programs are forestry and construction.
The TT report signals that VET programs must be made more attractive in Finland. The Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers has long believed in the importance of such schemes, and has sought to improve quality through cooperation with educational authorities, enterprises and labor market groups.