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Valmet, Children and Youth Foundation Continue Employment Program for Young People

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The second part of the youth program started by Valmet, Finland, and the Children and Youth Foundation in the spring of this year started this week (on Nov. 1, 2017) at several of Valmet's units in Finland. As a part of the program, Valmet enables paid practical training of three weeks for 100 young people. 

Participants to the unique program include young people aged 16-29 years who may, for instance, have challenges in finding their own path or with their basic working life skills.

Ninety people applied for the fall program, and the 55 who were chosen started tthis week in the following Valmet units: Espoo, Jyväskylä, Järvenpää, Raisio , and Tampere. In the spring, young people also participated at the Tampere, Pori, Ulvila, and Kajaani units.

"We wanted to celebrate Valmet's 220-year industrial history and the centenary of Finland's independence in a truly valuable way. Promoting employment among young people is important for society and an investment in the future. I hope that other companies will follow our example and provide young people with paid practical training and opportunities to learn working life skills," said Pasi Laine, president and CEO of Valmet.

Valmet's program was planned and is executed in cooperation with the Children and Youth Foundation, Academic Work, and WorkPilots. Valmet plans and offers paid training and mentors from Valmet for the young people. The Children and Youth Foundation is responsible for recruiting young people for the program and for coaching their mentors. Academic Work provides the participants with coaching in job seeking and study-related issues as part of the program. WorkPilots helps young people in finding paths for continuing their journey. 

"Each of the participants gets a personal mentor from Valmet, responsible for creating a safe and inspiring environment for the trainees and providing meaningful assignments that help them practice their working life skills and build their self-confidence. I am glad that so many Valmeteers have been ready to help these young people and act as mentors," said Anu Salonsaari-Posti from Valmet's working group for the youth program.

Those who participated in the program in the spring said that they received new self-confidence and courage. Especially important for them was to receive positive feedback, gain feelings of success, and to be part of the work community. Working within a work community helped the young people meet new people and act in new situations. As their favorite job assignments, the young participants listed, among other things, preparing PowerPoint presentations, taking photos, filing documents, and scanning.

"The practice opportunity in the spring provided many young people with important lessons for the future. The first experiences at work are very important. They will be used to build an image of one's own skills, interests, and the future working life. Successful experiences strengthen the young people's self-esteem, provide courage, and spur them to try things out. Valmet has worked hard to provide an opportunity for young people to get successful experiences and strengthen their working life skills in an encouraging environment. We are happy to participate in cooperation where the young people's path toward the working life is supported with consideration of their starting point," said Tuula Colliander, executive director of the Children and Youth Foundation.

"Academic Work supports and helps young people specifically at the beginning of their path in working life, so this cooperation program was fully in line with our values. In addition, meeting young people in various situations in life also provides a learning opportunity to our own personnel, and we are eagerly anticipating this stage of the project. More than 20 people from Academic Work will participate in mentoring the young trainees in different locations in Finland," said Laura Korpilauri from Academic Work.


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