“Master–apprentice training is a service organised by Business Joensuu that companies should definitely utilise.” The man behind this strong recommendation is Ari Kettunen, who is responsible for sales and projects at Insinööritoimisto Jodec Oy. Thanks to the master-apprentice model, the engineering company added a new key person to its team just over a month ago.

Every recruitment is a big decision for a company. You might not find a fully-fledged expert straight from school. A small company, in particular, does not have the means to hire a person whose contribution does not lead to profitable invoicing in the early stages.

– Fortunately, there is a great service available for companies. It is just up to them to make use of it, says Ari Kettunen from Jodec Oy.

Jodec did just that. The company was in need of a machine safety expert for its team. People at Jodec, which has operated in Joensuu Science Park since 2006, knew that it is worth turning to Business Joensuu whenever in need of help.

Ari Kettunen contacted Satu-Minna Piiroinen, Business Specialist at Business Joensuu, who suggested the master–apprentice model. In this operating model, a suitable apprentice is sought for a company. A master is selected from the company, who, after receiving a workplace instructor’s training, instructs the apprentice. At best, the end result is a real win-win situation: a jobseeker deepening their skills gets a job and a company gains skilled workforce.

– Business Joensuu took care of the recruitment process from the first contacts with applicants to arranging interviews with the applicants we were interested in. It is an excellent service, and free of charge for us customers. It would have been quite a challenging process for us to manage alongside our daily work with customers, Kettunen sighs.

Realistic goals

Taru Sormunen from Joensuu graduated from Karelia University of Applied Sciences as a mechanical engineer last summer. Soon after her graduation, Sormunen went to Holland to look for a job. She had got to know Holland through a student exchange. However, she was interested in returning to Joensuu. The newly graduated engineer set realistic goals for herself: a leap straight from school to expert tasks felt like too much of a challenge.

– I kept looking at job advertisements, especially for jobs offered to newly graduated and less experienced people. I sent about five job applications to Finland. In December 2019, I came across this Jodec job advertisement and went for it.

Sormunen will work as an apprentice at Jodec for about five months, instructed by Ari Kettunen as well as engineer, mechanical designer and CEO Esko Kinnunen and mechanical designer and strength of materials guru, Master of Science (Technology) Aki Vartiainen.

– I prefer working in a small group rather than a big company. The atmosphere at work is relaxed, says Taru Sormunen.

Sormunen also gets her share of praise, about being a great co-worker as well a superfast learner. She has already begun productive customer work during her first month of apprenticeship. Sormunen will receive labour market support during her time as an apprentice.

At the core of expertise

Jodec’s services include mechanical design, sheet metal and steel structure design, mechanics of materials and machine safety. Out of this service catalogue, Ari Kettunen emphasises Sormunen’s area of expertise, machine safety. The standards and laws of machine safety are nothing new in themselves. The first version of the European Machinery Directive was already issued in 1989.

– The directive sets safety requirements for machines. The CE marking, in turn, is a machine manufacturer’s assurance that the machine has been manufactured in accordance with all applicable safety legislation. Without a CE marking, a machine cannot be placed on the European market.

According to Kettunen, the importance of machine safety has been emphasised by increasingly active supervision. The Regional State Administrative Agency and Customs, among others, are on the alert in safety matters.

– Machine safety should already be taken into account in the early stages of the design process. As this is not always the case, machine safety and risk assessments can sometimes only be done after the manufacturing images required by the CE marking have been made. Yes indeed, machines are still built based on paper drawings.

The market for machine safety needs is growing. Jodec, which operates nationally, has recently also made openings for exports, especially as an expert in machine safety.

– Machine safety is the way to progress in the market. In this respect, there will continue to be recruitment needs in the future, says Ari Kettunen.

FACT: Master–apprentice training

  • Jobs for jobseekers, skilled workforce for companies
  • Also suitable for changes of ownership
  • Duration: 10-100 days, defined according to objectives at the beginning of the apprenticeship
  • Strong support and assistance from Business Specialist at Business Joensuu starting from practical matters
  • Partners: European Social Fund ESF, South Savo ELY Centre and Riveria
  • Master-apprentice training until 30 June 2020: seize this opportunity NOW!

Further information: Business Specialist Satu-Minna Piiroinen, Business Joensuu Oy, +358 400 287 787