VantaaJobs and skills in the local economy
Urban Growth-GSIP Vantaa - Growth and Social investment Pacts for Local Companies in City of Vantaa
"I’m really glad that we had all the main stakeholders involved in project planning-phase and they will be also part of the project implementation phase: two local universities of applied sciences, two research institutes, major companies, chamber of commerce and different units in the city organization. We have a wicked problem in our hands and it takes all stakeholders to solve it. UIA funding is very competed. Now we have reached it one can say we are truly an innovative city in Europe.”
Working life is in a state of accelerating change, which poses many challenges for companies. In the future, successful companies will be the ones that recognise that skilled and motivated personnel are a company’s most important asset. These companies invest in continuous learning at work, and prepare for their future competence needs. By developing the competence of personnel, companies can respond to the changes arising from technological changes, as well as support the company’s socially responsible growth.
As such, the company promotes a working culture that values people and improves wellbeing. However, for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the resources and skills available are not sufficient to promote continuous learning, which can threaten the development of companies and the vitality of cities.
The Urban Growth Vantaa project developed solutions particularly for the challenges of working life that Vantaa faces. In Vantaa, companies are facing a challenge due to their low level of competence compared to other large cities in Finland. One third of the workforce is in the labour market without a post-comprehensive school education. At the same time, shifts in working life and technological development change the way we work. The majority of new jobs are in SMEs, but many SMEs find it challenging to support continuous learning.
The challenges of the low level of competence of the Vantaa workforce are part of a complex problem for which there are no easy solutions. As such, intersectional cooperation and systemic solutions are required. The Urban Growth Vantaa project is one of the flagship projects of the City of Vantaa, making use of co-creation methods and seeking solutions for upskilling company personnel, increasing employment and meeting the competence needs arising from technological changes. The project partners, representing a wide variety of sectors, include: the City of Vantaa, educational institutions, research institutes and companies operating in Vantaa.
The project improved local companies’ growth in general and especially competences towards intelligent automation and digital transformation. At the same context, the project improved low-educated employees’ and unemployed persons’ capabilities for life-long learning and further education and lowers their future unemployment risks. An innovative core was to create a service model with encouraging incentives for companies.
The GSIPs were tailored for local companies which have enough employees, approximately more than 40. Primary targets were companies in human intensive and routinely operated industrial sectors and those IT-companies which have workforce of outdated skills caused by rapid changes in technologies and future business.
Development process started from design and testing of three thematic GSIPs in five authentic companies. After design and testing, three thematic GSIPs were piloted in 60 companies. The aim was to apply the framework of field experiments for implementing GSIPs with robust data on programs effectiveness. GSIP Vantaa project demonstrated that duplex actions in growth and social pillars implemented at company levels are more effective than actions in separate policy silos.
- Municipality of Vantaa
- Metropolia University of Applied Sciences - higher education and research institute
- Laurea University of Applied Sciences - higher education and research institute
- Etla - The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy - higher education and research institute
- Labour Institute for Economic Research LABORE - higher education and research institute
- Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce - business network
- ISS Services Ltd - private company
- Infocare Ltd. - private company
- Solteq Plc. - private company
- Finnair Cargo Ltd. - private company
- Vantti Ltd. - public company
Three service packages, or Growth Deals, were co-created during the project. The purpose of the Growth Deals is to simultaneously support business growth and social responsibility.
- Growth Deal 1 offered companies services supporting recruitment, as well as training and coaching services supporting growth.
- Growth Deal 2 supported companies in competence development. The service package consisted of company specific group coaching and professional skill development services.
- Growth Deal 3’s services supported companies in promoting technological change projects and the development of competence management methods.
Agile testing methods were used in the development of the Growth Deal services. The services were first tested in the partner companies participating in the project. Then, the services were developed further and used in pilot testing in SMEs operating in Vantaa. The experiences from previous Growth Deals were harnessed in the development of the following Growth Deals.
- 70 companies benefitted from the services (+ 5 partners)
- 863 participations in training or coaching services
- 96 apprenticeships initiated
- 33 companies benefitted from recruitment services
Examples of services:
Professional competence development service
An expert of vocational education conducted an initial discussion with the management and supervisors of the company. The discussion charted the employees’ needs for professional competence development. Tailored information sessions were organised for the employees and supervisors. Additionally, the expert assisted the company in finding and planning suitable education. Individual discussions and guidance were also available.
The theme-based training courses included both independent eLearning and contact sessions with an educator. The content of the training included communications, Lean philosophy, supervisor work and management, training for Office suite tools, and customer insight.
The growth coaching was designed as company-specific group coaching. By targeting entire teams instead of individuals, the coaching was able to support the creation of a culture of learning, and to develop learning practices.
Boosting for technological leap service
The service employed external experts to help the company examine how their competitiveness could be improved at a reasonable cost by using new technology. The goal was to help the company to identify and define their development needs and to draft a project proposal.
Competencies for Growth! coaching
The coaching developed the companies’ competence management, and the coaches helped companies to create new methods for the competence development and continuous learning of personnel. Additionally, companies were supported in recognising existing competence. The coaching was designed and implemented according to the needs of the companies.
Recruitment services for SMEs
- Employee search: Companies received help for finding employees via employment services and networks. Services were also offered related to other areas, such as interviewing.
- Information and guidance: Companies were provided with information about financial assistance for recruiting, such as pay subsidy, and related services.
- Recruiting through apprenticeships: Companies were helped with mapping out suitable tasks and students for apprenticeships. Vocational College Varia was responsible for the courses.
- Reorganising and reformulating needs: Companies received help for clarifying and formulating what kind of skills they need.
Digital tools supporting the processes of competence development
- Personal Digital Coach: Supporting the learning process of employees.
- Competence Mapping Portal: Support for the company’s internal career paths
- Dashboard: Support for the city’s business cooperation
- UKV bot: Support for charting company needs
The final products of our PoC development are implementation plans that include technical descriptions of the tools. The implementation plans are available online and they can be used and scaled up freely within Europe.
January 2019: GSIP Project Hackathon meeting with all project stakeholders. Concrete co-work starts with 10 stakeholders.
March 2020: The first GSIP model has been designed with 5 companies and piloted in 20 companies and results are analyzed. The GSIP1 model is called “need for skilled workforce”.
December 2020: The second GSIP model is ready and analyzed. The GSIP2 model is called “updating skills for employees”.
June 2021: Three bigger publications will be ready. All publications are in digital format only.
- One publication is a meta-analysis of different training / education models mainly in the Europe. This publication serves both incentive modelling for GSIPs and discussion of needs for reforms of adult education systems in Finland.
- One publication is for field experiences and narrative from the project pilot cases.
- One publication is open for demonstrated needs from the project work.
September 2021: Automated GSIP system is ready to open use.