The reform of vocational education

Working in the chemical industry requires industry-specific skills and the preparedness to learn new ones. Vocational schools produce process operators and lab technicians, for instance. Currently, there is an imbalance between the requirements of work and the skills among those who do it, especially among young people. There indeed is a clear need to reform vocational education, and the ongoing reform process is welcomed.

Vocational education is hindered by its dwindling appeal and challenge in passing, while skills requirements keep developing and are becoming more complicated. The lack of postgraduate skills, worsening educational outcomes, employability and the low employment rate of graduates also give cause for concern. This is why the education system should focus on work-oriented and effective education:

  • Securing the educational needs of industries that are small but important for the chemical industry
  • Taking job performance and effectiveness into account in terms of funding
  • Improving the teaching and learning of life sciences and mathematics (STEM)
  • Making training and apprenticeships more flexible and company-oriented. Representatives from working life should be included in the evaluationprocess.
  • The responsibilities held by the apprenticeship office should be given to the body responsible for training as a whole
  • Boards should have an authorisation system based on limited companies, and companies should have a central role in them

We need to attract the most talented people in the future

Working in the chemical industry requires lots of motivation, great skills and preparedness for lifelong learning. The work requires special safety and problem-solving skills, which education should be able to provide.

Bringing a genuine working life orientation to education

 At best, vocational education is a form of training that genuinely supports working life. Companies are seen as customers, and education also aspires to meet company-specific needs more effectively without the students being a burden to the companies. This benefits the students and wider society.


Jussi-Pekka Rode
Specialist, Education and vocational training

+358 40 168 6836