Optima educates and trains the employees of tomorrow
By offering competences and skills needed in future work, Jakobstad-based vocational education provider Optima contributes to social sustainability in Ostrobothnia.
“The core idea of our operation is to look into the future and be the uniting force that enables regional competence development, both on an individual and organisational level. This we accomplish together with our students, personnel, and collaboration partners, but also with the companies in our region. 30 percent of our students graduate through apprenticeship agreements, so companies play an important role in our work”, explains Max Gripenberg, Director of Optima.
In addition to on-the-job learning, Optima’s close industry cooperation includes practical training both in class and in companies, as well as arranging different events, where students and companies meet. Optima’s subsidiary, Optima Plus Ltd., also annually provides company-specific paid training to match the supply and demand of skills in the region.
“Our region has a low unemployment rate and finding skilled labour is hard. Many actors in our region understand the need to collaborate with education providers to attract talented employees today and in the future. Their goals are our goals, and as they grow, we grow”, says Gripenberg.
For Gripenberg, collaboration is in many ways the keyword to securing a future workforce. This collaboration not only encompasses cooperation with companies, but also work across educational levels, between applied and academic upper secondary schools and universities. A need for lifelong learning means that individuals obtain their training from, not only one, but several institutions over their careers.
“We no longer follow the traditional path of study-work-retire. The need to update one’s knowhow will only escalate, and for this, we need increased cooperation. The competition for skilled labour will be even tougher in the future, and when that day comes, partnering in training and education will be essential for our region and our companies”, Gripenberg asserts.