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Browsing by Author "Toivonen, Vilma"

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  • Toivonen, Vilma (2023)
    The forestry industry is in transition for several different reasons, which is why employees are also required to acquire new skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the future. The purpose is to find out the qualitative skills needs of forestry workers (forestry engineer, forest energy producer, forest machine fitter, forest machine driver, logger forest service’s producer) and timber truck drivers in the future, as well as how these can be met. The study was commissioned for the Finnish Forestry Center's western service area, which includes the provinces of Central Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Pirkanmaa, Satakunta and Southwest Finland. The topic has been extensively researched in Finland in recent years, and these studies are the basis for this report. The research is based on the difficulties experienced in recruitment for both quantitative and qualitative reasons. The turnover of workers in the field is currently high, which in part causes the need to consider whether the change in the field of trained workers could be prevented by, for example, additional or supplementary training. The research was carried out as a survey for employers in the forestry sector in the western service area of the Finnish Forestry Center. From the extensive material obtained based on the survey, the sections dealing with the qualitative characteristics of the employees in the field have been limited to this study. These include the following sections: Challenges in recruitment, new skills for the future, needs for additional and continuing education, skills of recent graduates, and trainees and educational institution cooperation. The results are very similar to previous studies. Although the small and partly unevenly distributed material, the research questions were answered. The most important themes emerged were the personal characteristics of forestry interns and recent graduates, the changes brought about by digitalization, substantive expertise, and business topics, including customer service and sales skills. The knowledge and skills of the interns and recent graduates were perceived as satisfactory or good. The greatest future challenge can be seen as the increasing need for practical training. The learning in the forest and in work placements instills the students' ways of doing things, so if it is added to, the students would be more independent already after graduation. Many of the themes discussed in the study are ones that can be responded to already in basic education. Due to the changing operating environment, additional and continuing training is needed. Implementation of the results of the research has started through the Finnish Forestry Center. The results have been taken regionally to the western service area for training organizers, employers and other stakeholders as needed. Forestry Center has started, among other things, a project based on the results, the purpose of which is to increase awareness of the forestry sector among young people with an eye on future jobs.