Page updated 13.1.2017

Reforming the education ensures the competitiveness of industry

The export industry, the engine of the Finnish economy, needs more competent engineers. The education should be quickly renewed with both short- and long-term solutions. The aim of Turku University of Applied Sciences is to double the volume of its engineering education to be able to meet this need.

The growth of the marine and metal industry in Southwest Finland means, with its networks and multiplier impact, the employment of up to 30 000 new professionals by 2025.

The educational organizations in Turku have created a plan, and investments in this plan can scale the education to answer to the need. The problem is the rigid national governing: the model of operations is based on the results of years past, which in practice eliminates the ability to react.

Meyer Turku needs professionals from different fields

“By 2020, Meyer Turku will grow from its current 1 600 employees to about 2 000 employees. Due to the age structure of the company, the growth number can be multiplied with roughly 1.5 to reach the real need for recruitment”, says Head of Human Resources Tapani Lankinen from Meyer Turku Oy.

Contrary to expectations, the company will need professionals throughout the entire field of technical education in the upcoming years – not only those who have undergone education in the field of shipping.

“The share of state-of-the-art technology and integrated systems continues to increase in our vessels. The shipyard has to be able to meet its customers’ requirements for example in the fields of new forms of energy production, such as fuel cell technology”, Lankinen continues.

Cooperation with companies ensures the right contents of the education

In Turku the number of engineers is notably smaller than for example in Espoo, Tampere, Oulu and Vantaa (see the table below).

In terms of the growth and competitiveness of the companies, the competence of the staff is key. The competence needs have to be taken into account in planning the contents of the education and in the decision-making of the educational institutes to ensure jobs.

“Cooperation with companies is the competitive advantage of universities of applied sciences. The education continues to adhere to the competence needs of working life”, says Teppo Virta, Regional Manager of Southwest Finland in the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.

More education in terms of quantity and content

In the joint competence and education reform of the City of Turku and the higher education institutions in the region, TUAS proposes the duplication of its engineering education from the current number, and revision of the current engineering education thus that the contents of the B.Eng. degree could with educational modules directed more towards the marine and manufacturing industry.

To develop the educational infrastructure and operational environment, the digitalization of Machine Technology Center Turku Ltd and the establishment of new laboratories is proposed for the needs of autonomic vehicles, water and environmental engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence research and education.

The aim is to strengthen the competence within the marine industry with establishing a Marine Engineering competence centre and Maritime Excellence Center.

“We will need both quick and long-term structural changes in the education on technology. Our proposal also includes retraining in the field, expanding the current Bachelor of Construction Management degree with a specialization in steel and interior construction and expanding the contents of the Master’s degree and speeding up its completion. These reforms can also be carried out swiftly”, says Rector and President Vesa Taatila.

 

Employed Bachelors of Engineering, Masters of Science in Engineering and architects in 2014

               

B.Eng. and construction architects

M.Sc. (Eng.) and architects

Turku

3179

1169

Espoo

5772

9592

Tampere:

5178

5303

Oulu

4967

3097

Vantaa

4287

2385

 

Source:Statistics Finland