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PRESS RELEASE 28th May 2005

WorldSkills brought the people from Korvatunturi to Helsinki

The first ones to reserve tickets for the WorldSkills 2005 Helsinki were the 9th graders from Korvatunturi secondary school. The school is situated in the municipality of Savukoski, which has 1500 inhabitants and is therefore Finland’s most sparsely populated area.

The 9th graders Juho Orava and Enni Kelloniemi arrived in Helsinki already on Monday with their 15 classmates. “At the beginning of the week we visited all the compulsory places such as Linnanmäki Amusement Park, the National Museum, Heureka the Finnish Science Centre and Ateneum- art museum. We also had a lot of time for shopping,” says Juho. Juho’s sister lives in Helsinki so the places are familiar to him. Enni is for the first time in Helsinki. “It has been quite nice, but there are so many people here,” she states.

On Friday the group visited the WorldSkills Competition. Both Enni and Juho start high school next fall, but the vocational skills competition gave ideas for further studies. “I have earlier thought of applying for the carpentry school.  This trip assured me of that. I got to see what it is a like to work as a carpenter. It was also nice to watch the Jewellery work,” says Juho. He already seems as a professional carpenter with his plastered hand, which was caused by a circular saw accident. Luckily all his fingers are intact.

Juho’s career plans are already clear as he intends to continue with his parents’ business of reindeer breeding. He has also decided to obtain another profession, just in case, if the reindeer industry starts to decline.

The youngsters intend to stay up North even in the future – move to the South does not appeal. The youngsters draw the borderline of South at Oulu. “The biggest part of our class intends to stay and study in Savukoski or in the neighbourhood,” says Juho, referring to Rovaniemi, which is located 200 kilometres from Savukoski.

WolrdSkills Competition has fulfilled 9th graders expectations but their teachers Ms Ulla-Maria Kankainen and Ulla Ingervo wished for more information on actual performances at the workshop sites. “It would have been easier to follow the competition, if I would have known what the result was supposed to be. Some of the skills can only be judged by professionals at that field because they are difficult for general public to comprehend”, criticises Ms Ingervo but continues with praises to the organisers “It must have been an enormous job to organise such an event. All of the materials, ingredients and other things for the competitions must be taken care. Also the workshop sites were very clean.”

The teachers believe that these kind of vocational competitions are useful for the students thinking of their future carriers. “Here they can see that professionalism includes more than IT and paper industries and university degrees. The professional skills must be studied hard”, Ms Kankainen ponders.           

The group is concerned about the diminishing number of study places. “Vocational education has nearly inexistent in Lapland and many of the small high schools are going to the closed. Today almost all of the jobs available there are within the reindeer or tourist industries and the companies are mostly small family businesses. Small entrepreneurs should unite even though it is hard for us northern people.”   

After the Friday competition day all the 9th graders and their teachers head back home with a great experience behind them. “Our train leaves at 7.30 p.m. and at home we will be tomorrow around noon”, states Juho.

Text: Anneliina Peiju

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Updated 29.5.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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