The completion of Metsä Fibre’s Rauma sawmill is a very significant event in the sawmill industry. In terms of its sawing capacity and new technology, the sawmill is in a class of its own. The new sawmill presented a whole new challenge to the training of sawmill operators, because the old approach was no longer adequate. When planning the training, we had to pay attention to the sawmill’s new technology and new efficiency. Fortunately, vocational qualifications are flexible and adapt excellently to the demands of industry.
To train the new operators, experts from Metsä Fibre and Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia jointly created a coaching model for on-the-job training and education in areas where extra competence or entirely new skills were needed. The operators prove their competence in demonstrations, which have been organised regularly at Metsä Fibre sawmills currently operating.
Equipment suppliers have played an extremely important role in this coaching model. After all, we are dealing with carefully selected new technology that only Rauma’s equipment suppliers can offer. The framework for coaching is Gradia’s vocational qualification for the wood products industry where sawmilling is the area of competence, and the vocational qualification for equipment installation and maintenance where maintenance is the competence area. It is fair to say that the preparatory education included in vocational qualifications, combined with training periods at sawmills, offer a good foundation for understanding new technology and efficiency.
The operators will soon start up the sawmill, the phase for which we have been carefully practising and preparing. It has been a pleasure to see how people from different fields have embraced the sawmill process. A big thank you goes to the sawmill personnel who have taken the time to teach the Rauma sawmill operators. I appreciate the contribution to this coaching programme provided by equipment suppliers. I also want to thank all my colleagues at Gradia, as well as Metsä Fibre for their cooperation.
We are well positioned for the road ahead, which has only just begun.