Forest of opportunities

Finnish forest industry professionals visited some 330 schools around Finland in September-October as part of the campaign Forest of opportunities. These visits boosted awareness of the various professions and new products of the forest-based sector among pupils and teachers alike."Schools benefit greatly from having actual professionals visit and talk about working life", participating teachers noted in their campaign feedback.

The Work grows on trees competition was launched in conjunction with the campaign. It asked young people to imagine their classmates working in the forest-based sector in 2024. More than 70 entries were submitted. A jury consisting of forest industry corporation representatives shortlisted ten competition entries, which were then voted on by the general public online. The selection of the final ten emphasised innovative consideration of future jobs and the ability to describe them in an interesting, fun and original manner.

More than 8,000 votes were given. The winning entry, a video about the future professionals of the forest industry by Myllytulli School, received 31% of all votes. The pupils used their entry to communicate that forests are associated with many surprising things like using wood as a raw material for pharmaceuticals and fuel products. Before the campaign, pupils primarily associated the forest-based sector with lumberjacks toiling away in the sticks. A visit by a professional during the Forest of opportunities campaign provided a fresh perspective on the sector by raising awareness of the many other professions that are engaged in the forest industries and of how pupils could train themselves for these occupations.

The Forest of opportunities school campaign was realised by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation in cooperation with forest industry corporations, the Finnish Forest Association and the Economic Information Office as part of the forest-based sector's joint Metsä puhuu (Forest talks) future project.

Kotkamills Oy visited several classes of local schools in Kotka telling pupils of upper level of comprehensive school about forest sector professions. The feedback was very positive and visits of similar kind were wished to happen again in future.

News 2014