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1m Finns need reskilling to cope with modern tech

07 Apr 2019, 03:52 ( 6 Months ago)

DF Report
Modern technology is a big part of the work of forest professionals. Press Release Photo by Jaakko Lukumaa

Modern technology causes anxiety in working life and nearly a million Finns need reskilling, according to the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK).

SAK, Google Finland and Demos Helsinki have outlined four proposals for action to build a society of continuous learning.

The organisations are starting to promote these proposals and are now inviting other private and public actors along.

Finnish workplaces must become place for digital learning to improve the basic digital skills.

The idea of continuous learning is not new, but the scale is. It is estimated that nearly one million Finns need reskilling over the next ten years when technology changes working life.

To find practical solutions for continuous learning, SAK, Google and Demos Helsinki started cooperation and initiated a project during which over 40 experts of continuous learning worked together.

As a result, a paper of four concrete proposals was published on Friday in Helsinki.

"Co-operation between SAK and Google may sound surprising. When you think of SAK's broad visibility into the everyday life of Finnish workers and Google as a forerunner in digital solutions and training, it really makes sense. Collaboration is what we need to solve wicked societal challenges", said  Julia Jousilahti, Senior Expert at Demos Helsinki.

The paper pointed out that learning opportunities are not distributed equally in society. For example, knowledge workers have more opportunities for learning than manual workers. At its worst, technological development leads to an increase in inequality when the digital skills of some of the population is left behind.

"One in three feels that modern technology in their work is distressing. Employers need to understand the value of continuous learning and allocate time for employees to develop their skills as part of their work. Learning must be part of the work", said Jarkko Eloranta, President of SAK.

"In the past few years, Google has trained over 3 million Europeans in digital skills as part of our “Grow with Google" project. We work with expert partners in each country to maximize results. For us, the paper that we present today is a first step towards bringing different skills-training projects also to Finland later this year. Promoting solid digital skills for all is vital in today’s fast-changing society", said Antti Järvinen, Country Manager of Google Finland.