An availability of the skilled manpower can be difficult or even impossible within some regions and fields of industries. Commonly the large growth centres attract students and job applicants while SMEs on smaller regions have difficulties to find enough employees.

Why will the employee not be found?

There can be several reasons for this question. An obvious reason is the location of a vacancy. An SME operating on a rather small locality cannot compete with the entrepreneurs of bigger towns regarding the location and services. Traffic connections and the general image of the locality also influence the issue. In addition to the location and an image of the locality, the images of the different fields of industries are also crucial. For example, an impression of the metal industry can still be a dated dirty workstation or a foundry activity requiring heavy physical work even though the reality nowadays is quite something else. When a youngster considers his/hers a place of study, the impression of dated dirty workstations can lead to the fact that the studies of the metal technology are not the youngsters’ primary alternative. As a consequence student numbers will drop, which leads to the shortage of graduated metal technology experts.

Mission: Imago boost of the industry

A few years ago in Nivala (a population about 11 000 inhabitants), metal technology actors realized the decreased number of metal technology students and on the shortage of workforce in the metal industry SMEs in the region. In order to stop this decreasing trend the MeTekno project was started with the mission to raise the image of metal and technology industries and to present them as a tempting studying and working field of industry.
In the MeTekno project, altogether 30 factory visits were arranged for 800 young pupils from the local schools. During the visits pupils saw and learned what kind of the metal and technology industry is today. Instead of the heavy traditional workstations, you may found nowadays laser processes, high level automation, modern manufacturing (3D printing), and applications of the high technologies using the newest hi-tech devices at the factories. Additionally, by the MeTekno project the metal industry field was marketed and visibly advertised in many different situations and events with the aim to create and to boost the positive image.

Mission completed?

The mission is not yet completed, but there is a truly promising start. After a termination of the MeTekno project, a number of the metal technology students has doubled in Nivala vocational school. As a direct effect of the project, 18 metal industry students were employed, and more than half of them got regular employment. The growth of the student number is a good beginning as it will lead to the increased number of the graduated mechanical and metal technology professionals in the future.
The MeTekno project was carried out in cooperation by Nivala Industrial Park Ltd and the educational institutions and SMEs of the region. The financier of the MeTekno project was Keskipiste-Leader.

Kari Kutuniva

Development director

Nivala Industrial Park Ltd


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