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A significant project will launch in Vantaa: aligning competence with working life needs

Laurea is a partner in an EU project coordinated by the City of Vantaa.

People at Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

The European Union has granted the City of Vantaa EUR 4 million in funding for a project that supports companies’ growth by raising the level of competence. The partners in the project coordinated by the City of Vantaa are the Laurea and Metropolia Universities of Applied Sciences in Vantaa, as well as the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce (HRCC), ETLA Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, and the Labour Institute for Economic Research. The project also includes five corporate partners: ISS, Infocare, Solteq, Vantti and FinnairCargo.

Above all, the change introduced by digitalisation and smart automation creates challenges to companies that have a large number of low education level jobs. Thus, the objective of the project receiving the funding is to identify companies’ future competence needs and find ways to meet them.

-    The project will investigate what kind of challenges our five pilot companies will face in the technological revolution. Then we will know what kind of training should be developed for the companies, says senior lecturer Marilla Kortesalmi, who participated in the preparation of the project at Laurea.

Personnel training is first piloted in the five companies participating in the project, after which the training package will be deployed to 60 additional companies.

The second stage of the project will develop a cloud service for anticipating the competence of graduates of educational institutions located in Vantaa, such as Laurea and Metropolia, and the future training and competence needs of companies.

- It is illustrative of the importance of the upcoming project how quickly the different parties reached a mutual understanding of the challenge at hand during the project preparation. The goal is to find out how companies can address the challenges of the future and how we as education providers can meet the companies’ needs in the best possible way, Marilla Kortesalmi says.

The project, scheduled to start at the beginning of 2019, has received funding from the Urban Innovation Action programme of the European Union. The project’s total budget is EUR 5 million, or which EUR 4 million is EU funding.

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