Focusing on the right set of skills – the subcontracting industry is heading towards carbon neutrality
Industry is undergoing a major change. Digitalisation and reacting to the climate change pose new kinds of challenges also to the traditional processing industry. The Finnish rubber industry intends to be an essential part of this development – in the role of a trendsetter. The preconditions for this are excellent, as companies within the sector have already for years invested systematically in the responsibility of their operations and in predicting future needs. The shared carbon neutrality goal – to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 – that applies to the entire chemical industry sector is a very important goal for our member companies. We consider this change to be positive.
To achieve the goals set for the future, all operators within the sector must invest strongly in competence, because the work needed is always carried out by people. In spring 2021, we conducted an extensive study among chemical industry companies to determine the skills that will be needed in the carbon neutral future. Who will be working in the chemical industry sector in the future and which skills are needed for the carbon neutrality goals to be reached?
Based on the study, expertise in natural sciences and mathematics is, in particular, needed, but multidisciplinary competence was also considered to be important. In addition, it is especially important to integrate responsibility and safety thinking with all training in the chemical and technical sectors. Finland is a forerunner in this kind of thinking and can become more important than its size suggests in competence discussion also on European level. In this, the dialogue between companies and educational institutions cannot be emphasised too much: when we want the competence needs of companies and the training offered by educational institutions to match, it is vital to be familiar with the needs of the other party as well as possible on a practical level. Together, we can also ensure that Finland remains a country of top expertise both in terms of vocational training and higher education. We all share the goal of carbon neutrality.
Our companies take the carbon neutrality goals seriously in developing their competence. It is important that the entire staff from production to management, as well as the interest groups and customers that are important for the company, are committed to this work. Everyone must see this goal as equally important.
Let’s roll up our sleeves for future expertise and exchange ideas at the Subcontracting Trade Fair!
Anni Siltanen, Chief Advisor, Skills & Competence, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland