Survey: the tech industry in Finland needs 53,000 workers by the year 2021
A survey done by the Technology Industries of Finland indicates that the country needs over 53,000 new workers by the year 2021. There is a serious shortage in the horizon. Education in the field is not attractive, especially to girls. Also many who start, soon drop out due to lack of interest.
In the fields of digitalization, artificial intelligence and data analytics alone, it is estimated that in the next four years over 11,000 new workers are needed to fill the jobs. According to a report published today, the lack of skilled tech workers is a serious issue to companies of all sizes and is a risk to the Finnish economy.
The survey was done by the Technology Industries of Finland, an industry group. Responses were received from 350 companies, who employ a total of 34% of all technology industry companies in Finland. The findings show that the working life is changing at a rapid pace. As technology evolves, the companies requirements' for workers change dramatically.
The required average skills in the technology industry keep increasing. Skills in robotics, IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, factory automation, programming and data analytics are expected to become a common requirement for workers in the field. Individuals must take responsibility for their careers, and keep their skills up-to-date by their own initiative.
Immigration and education improvements needed
Technology exports represent over half of Finnish exports, so it is essential that the lack of labour is addressed. The educational system needs to be adjusted to be more flexible, but this alone will not help. Immigration is an integral part of ensuring a sufficient pool of skilled workers, which means expediting processing and easing immigration policies.
Alongside the survey results, the TIF also published a report (9 ratkaisua Suomelle) making recommendations to ensure competitiveness of the technology industry in the future. The report suggests that in addition to practical changes to education and immigration policies, the industry needs an image makeover. This is to make it more appealing to the young.
Especially girls in Finland often don't pursue mathematics in high school, and in general don't see technology as an appealing career choice. However, the use of technology is ubiquitous in every day working life. This is why the education system should provide everyone with a strong foundation from early childhood through to primary and secondary school.