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Making working in plastics and rubber more familiar in comprehensive schools
Plastics and rubber offer all kinds of job opportunities

Nowadays the application options for plastics and rubber are amazing.  Entrepreneurs in plastics and rubber and vocational instructors have determined to make this field more familiar so that the industry can secure the skilled workers it needs.  Young people just finishing comprehensive school and those in upper secondary school and their teachers and counselors, teachers in adult education and employment administration personnel – all need to know more.

Sirpa Riekkola checks a tyre.
Sirpa Riekkola, visual inspector at Nokian Tyres checks a brand new Nokian Hakapeliitta tyre.
High resolution image (1044 Kb)
Photo: Jan Colliander
Satu von Bagh presenting tyres to Miika Kesti.
Satu von Bagh, development manager at Nokian Tyres presenting new Nokian tyres to project manager Miika Kesti of the Sastamala “MuKuVe” Training Project.  In the background Counsellor of Education Pirkko Laurila of the Finnish National Board of Education and Sirkka-Helena Ilveskoski, teacher on the Pirkanmaa Vocational Institute.
High resolution image (966 Kb)
Photo: Jan Colliander

Plastic and rubber are used in a vast variety of ways in everyday products.  They can be used increasingly in building products, vehicle parts, food packaging, boats, intelligent garments and, for example, in biodegradable screws used in surgery.  Plastics and rubber have been made into ever stronger products less damaging to the environment; the recyclability of plastic and rubber products improves with the right admixture of different materials such as wood and of fibres separated from plans stalks and stems.

SASKY, the Sastamala union of municipalities for training is in charge of “MuKeVe”, a project intended to increase the attractiveness of the field of plastics and rubber.  Making the field of plastics and rubber more familiar and therefore more attractive is achieved by agreeing on new modes of operating making it possible to engage in a wider range of co-operation with teachers in comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools, careers advisors, pupils, representatives of enterprises in these fields and labour administration employees.  At the same time an efforts is being made to increase co-operation with instructors in adult education and job centre employees.

Introducing comprehensive school pupils to vocational training

Finland has a strong plastics and rubber industry, especially around Sastamala, Nastola and Nokia.  In Sastamala instructors, enterprise representatives and job centre employees have already increased information transfer and co-operation among themselves.  Thanks to the MuKuVe project up-to-date information on career interests among comprehensive school pupils is on the increase and, for example, on the opportunities to take advantage of young people’s social media skills.

The aim of the MuKuVe project is to achieve totally new TET placements (for comprehensive school pupils to get to know working life) in enterprises in the plastics and rubber industries.  There are already positive experiences in Finland regarding courses arranged for pupils opting for technical work in the workshops of vocational training institutions.

In the future the work of professionals in plastics and rubber will be varied and extremely interesting.  They will need to know the rudiments of chemistry, the manufacturing techniques of the fields and machine automation, likewise the techniques for daily machine maintenance.  Creativity is also an advantage in the field of plastics and rubber.

Plastics and rubber in Finland are of an internationally high standard.  There are fourteen thousand people employed in plastics and two thousand in rubber.  Training for the fields of plastics and rubber is offered only in a few institutions; there is also an option to take a special vocational qualification while at work.  After the basic qualification it is possible to apply for a university of applied sciences or university.

The MuKuVe project is funded by the Finnish National Board of Education.  It is a national project and the regional emphasis is through educational institutions in Pirkanmaa, Päijät-Häme, North Karelia and Savo.  The new modes of operation developed on the project are to be introduced in the fields of plastics and rubber throughout Finland.  The Finnish National Board of Education will endeavour to apply the new modes of operation in training and working life to other educational fields.

Additional information:

Sastamala Municipal Education and Training Consortium
Miika Kesti, Project Manager
Tel. +358 40 703 9548
Nokian Tyres plc
Satu von Bagh, Development Manager, Competence
Tel. +358 10 401 7279
Pirkanmaa Vocational Institute
Sirkka-Helena Ilveskoski, teacher
Tel. +358 50 303 1464
Salpaus Further Education
Timo Malén, Senior Lecturer, Plastics
Tel. +358 50 305 1062

Finnish National Board of Education
Pirkko Laurila, Counsellor of Education
Tel. +358 40 348 7775

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.

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