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The appeal of metalwork and machinery is increasing among youth

Column  19.09.2023

From earliest times, the metalwork and machinery sector has been one of the cornerstones of industry. During the last few years, it has gained new pull and momentum from the rapid development of technology and the increased emphasis on sustainability. The number of applicants to e.g. vocational education has increased steadily during the last few years. The growing appeal of the sector is due to several factors, the combined effect of which creates exciting opportunities for businesses and for the entire society.

The attraction of technology resonates

During the era of digitalisation and automation, attractiveness of the metalwork and machinery sector has increased markedly. Smart production facilities and machines enable more precise and effective production. Internet of things and AI bring forth new opportunities to optimise processes and predict needs for maintenance and production. Talented youth are looking for jobs where they can be a part of this wave of technological breakthroughs.

Confirmed by studies

The strong emphasis on sustainable development has also added boost to the growing pull of metalwork and machinery. According to surveys, youth place more emphasis than before on the meaningfulness of work and the possibility to create an impact on the transformation. As environmental awareness is increasing, the sector has taken a giant leap towards more sustainable production. Developing new materials and streamlining recycling processes have emerged as key innovations. Young professionals want to be part of this change towards more sustainable, more effective, and also more eco-friendly solutions.

New opportunities

The growing pull of metalwork and machinery also offers new career opportunities for young talents. Traditional conceptions of a heavy industry have been joined by interesting and versatile tasks. With evolving technologies, the duties of machinists, welders and technicians are transforming. Also, there is a growing need for experts in software and information technology. In addition, young engineers and designers can find exciting challenges within the fields of design, research and development.

Increasing need for education and collaboration

The growing appeal of metalwork and machinery is not generated out of nowhere. Businesses, schools and the society must work closely together to ensure that the sector retains its attractiveness and competitiveness. Educational programmes and institutions must be able to address the rapid evolution of technologies and to provide professionals with up-to-date real-world competences during their job careers as well.


Columnist CEO Peer Haataja, Konepajakoulu, Tampereen Teollisuusoppilaitos Oy