The Taitaja2023 event challenges companies to collaborate in solving the shortage of skilled labor. The event brings together educational institutions and companies to develop future professional skills, ensuring that the competition's tasks are work-relevant, with companies contributing to their design. The cooperation between vocational education and the labor market is crucial in solving the challenge of matching skilled labor with the needs of the job market.
The Chairperson of the AMKE association and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Director of Kesko, Laura Rissanen, and the Director of the Espoo Consortium of Education, Tuula Antola, emphasize that vocational education plays a central role in responding to acute labor needs and predicting future skills requirements. They note that the dialogue between vocational education and the labor market must be ongoing to keep up with the rapidly changing skills requirements.
The Taitaja2023 event facilitates this dialogue in various ways. The event has around 350 partners collaborating in different ways to make it happen. For example, Würth's employees act as judges in five national championship categories and help design the competition tasks. The company has provided tools, personal protective equipment, and other supplies to the competitors and visitors, enabling them to safely try their hand at practical skills like drilling and screwing.
According to Würth's Divisional Director Tuomas Syyrakki, the shortage of skilled labor is a hindrance to economic growth and societal development. Therefore, the company wants to contribute to solving the problem by ensuring that there are enough professionals to do the job. Syyrakki notes that manual skills professions are valuable, and their absence would be noticed quickly.
Kespro is also a partner in the Taitaja2023 event, providing VIP catering, serving as a competition judge, and using social media to engage young people during the event week. Kespro's Commercial Director Jerry Tiittala says that the labor shortage in the restaurant industry is a significant risk factor for them. Therefore, they participate in Taitaja2023 to promote the industry's appeal to young people and encourage them to pursue careers in the field. Tiittala notes that effective collaboration between companies and educational institutions can significantly impact students' readiness for the labor market. "The better prepared students are for the labor market, the better it is for the labor market," he says.
The Taitaja2023 event aims to develop the quality of vocational education and increase its visibility. The event is an excellent opportunity for companies to collaborate with educational institutions, develop future professional skills, and bridge the gap between skilled labor and the job market's needs.