There’s a good work environment, diverse tasks and varying workdays. You can learn new skills, apply what you’ve learnt in school, and be given responsibility and independence in your work. Your colleagues are helpful and willing to answer any questions you may have; it’s a nice atmosphere to work in. These were some of the ways Metsä Fibre’s summer trainees described their jobs in the 2022 Summer Job Survey conducted by the Responsible Employer’s Summer Jobs -campaign.
“Summer trainees are a valuable resource for Metsä Fibre and an investment for the future. We want to offer our summer trainees varied tasks with responsibility and help them grow into future experts,” says Sanna Huhtilainen, Metsä Fibre’s Senior Vice President, HR.
Gain valuable work experience in sawmills and pulp mills
Every summer, Metsä Fibre’s sawmills and pulp mills employ around 200 summer trainees to fill in for permanent employees.
“A summer job is a great way for trainees to demonstrate their know-how because work well done gets noticed. It’s also an excellent way to learn about the practical aspects of working in your field of study – and to confirm whether it’s the right field for you,” says Huhtilainen.
Metsä Fibre offers positions for summer trainee that match their skills and give them more responsibility as they gain experience. The goal is to give summer trainees a wide variety of tasks to carry out and to use the knowledge they have gained from school in their practical work.
“Summer employees can work at Metsä Fibre’s sawmills in a wide range of production tasks, such as in sawing, in kiln drying department or dry sorting,” says Huhtilainen.
Summer trainees can perform various processing tasks at the company’s pulp mills, depending on their studies and work experience. For example, these may include maintenance work and process control tasks.
Some summer trainees also continue in permanent positions at Metsä Fibre after finishing their studies. The company primarily seeks graduates in paper, pulp, and bioproduct technology as well as electrical automation technology to substitute permanent employees in its pulp mills. On the other hand, for sawmill jobs, studies related to wood products industry, mechanical engineering, electrical automation and process engineering are particularly useful – as are teamwork skills, openness and an energetic work ethic.
Permanent employment with an apprenticeship
You can also become a permanent Metsä Fibre employee after successfully completing an apprenticeship programme. The company trains apprentices in jobs such as process operators and machine operators. “The operating model adopted at Metsä Fibre’s production units is based on providing employees with multiple skill sets. The 18-month, broad-based apprenticeship training offers a solid foundation and the opportunity to carry out varied and interesting tasks, both during and after training,” says Huhtilainen.
In the apprenticeship training programme, you can complete a further vocational qualification, specialising in the wood product or process industry, electrical engineering and automation technology, or machine mechanics and maintenance technology.
A thesis is a two-way street
Every year, dozens of students also complete a thesis for Metsä Fibre.
“The thesis is a two-way street: for the student, it is an excellent learning opportunity to see what it’s like to work at Metsä Fibre. For us, it’s a chance to gain access to the latest research and expertise in the field and to see what kind of potential employee might have,” says Matti Toivonen, Director, Technology at Metsä Fibre, who himself once wrote his thesis for Metsä Fibre and stayed with the company.
According to Toivonen, thesis topics are always born out of a genuine need. For example, Metsä Fibre may have a technical challenge requiring a thesis to start looking for a solution.
Metsä Fibre is actively involved in many issues
Metsä Fibre is also sponsoring various youth projects – encouraging children and youth to engage in sports, science and the arts.
In addition, Metsä Fibre supports children’s road safety through annual campaigns in the primary schools in the communities surrounding its pulp mill and sawmill sites. During these tours, schoolchildren get to see the timber lorries and receive practical advice on road safety.
For slightly older schoolchildren, Metsä Fibre also offers internships “Tutustu työelämään ja tienaa” (“Learn about work and earn”) to introduce young people to working life, providing them the opportunity for their first contact with work during a two-week internship period.
The company also participates in career and recruitment events and cooperates extensively with various educational institutions, from primary schools to universities.
“We visit schools to talk about the diverse opportunities in the growing forest industry sector, for example, through the Forest of Opportunities (Mahdollisuuksien metsä) school campaign. School groups and students can also visit our mills. During their visits, the students learn about the forest industry today, how we operate sustainably, and all kinds of products we can make from wood,” says Päivi Palosaari-Aubry, who is in charge of Metsä Group’s recruitment and onboarding process.
According to Palosaari-Aubry, employees’ career stories can give students a perspective on how different paths can lead to various jobs in the industry.
“It can also help to understand that it’s ok not to know exactly what you want to do when you are 15 or 20 years old because all experience is useful – and eventually you’ll find your own path,” says Palosaari-Aubry.