The recent decision by the Ministry of Education and Culture (OKM) to reject an application for an English-language vocational training program at Vaasan ammattiopisto Vamia has raised concerns among the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and the Association of Finnish Battery Manufacturers.
"English-language training programs are crucial for us to address the shortage of skilled professionals in the industry.
We need to use all possible solutions to ensure that we can meet the demand for skilled professionals," said a representative from the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland.
Several international companies operating in Vaasa had expressed their support for the application, as they believe that the program is necessary for the development of the electrical automation field in the region. This field is crucial for the upcoming investments in battery technology in Vaasa.
"The rejection of the application is disappointing, given the shortage of skilled professionals in our industry. We need to find new and innovative ways to train our workforce, and English-language training programs are one of them," said a representative from the Association of Finnish Battery Manufacturers.
Many educational institutions are now questioning whether it is worth applying for English-language training program licenses, given the possibility of rejection.
"Applying for a license for an English-language training program requires a significant amount of effort and resources. If well-prepared applications are being automatically rejected, it is difficult to justify the effort required to apply," said a representative from a local vocational school.
The battery industry anticipates needing between 5,000 and 7,000 professionals over the next five years, with approximately 70% of these professionals initially requiring vocational training. The shortage of skilled professionals is a significant challenge for the industry, and English-language training programs can play a critical role in addressing this challenge.
"We need to work together to ensure that the Ministry understands the needs of our industry. The green transition is a priority for Finland, and English-language training programs are essential to ensure that we can meet the demand for skilled professionals," said a representative from the Association of Finnish Battery Manufacturers.