A very Finnish problem?
The Finnish technology industry estimates that it will need in the coming ten years around 130,000 new professionals.
Altogether, there are now 317,000 employees working in Finland's technology sector, so the need for 130,000 new professionals is daunting. If this goal is not achieved, it is estimated that the sustainable economic growth enabled by Finland's digital green transformation in the industry will not be realized. Additionally, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that there are also skills needs in other sectors, and more professionals need to graduate from educational institutions.
We started the EFNMS (European Federation of National Maintenance Societies) EMAM 23 survey some time ago and obtained the results at the end of April. We received almost 200 answers from 29 countries – mainly from Europe. One of the questions was related to recruiting of new personnel.
The outcome was that 77% said it is hard to find new personnel. Meanwhile, 18% said it is almost impossible.
The problem with human resources is a challenging one. We see a lot of aging personnel in companies, especially around technical services. Because of the increasing automation and new digitalization tools, productivity has risen, and companies do not see any need to replace retiring people. Companies have noticed that they have partly lost the silent competence of existing assets. One of the hot topics now – for several reasons – is the discussion of retirement age and flexible ways of prolonging the active working life of an individual.
On the other side, there is the issue of getting new talents into technical services and maintenance, asset management, or whatever, one may call it. There are other areas considered to be more attractive among young people, also referring to the results of student inquiries. How can we improve our status and external image among decision-makers and new talents as an industry? Not an easy task, but we must do our best.
In this issue, there are some flashbacks from the EuroMaintenance 2023 event held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in April 2023.
This includes a Maintworld-interview with Diego Galar, professor in Operation and Maintenance Engineering at the Luleå University of Technology, who was elected by the General Assembly of the European Federation of National Maintenance Societies (EFNMS) as the new Secretary and Director of Industry Relations within the Board of Directors. This issue will also provide information on industrial robotics. Many types of robots have been developed to handle various situations in the industry and transportation sectors. For instance, drones are already deployed in many industries for asset inspections, security, and surveillance.
We will return with the EMAM 24 survey at the beginning of 2024. The results will be published during the coming EuroMaintenance 24 event scheduled for 16–18 September 2024 in Rimini, Italy.
See You latest in Rimini!
At the beginning of February, we held our main maintenance congress in Finland after a four-year break.
Skills and knowledge are the key factors in European maintenance. The price tag per work hour done in Europe is higher than in the main competitor countries. High quality maintenance supports the fulfilment of the efficiency of European industrial production, climate criteria and the competitive requirements of the circular economy.