“A truly major learning journey”

The start-up of Metsä Group's bioproduct mill, and the simultaneous full-speed operation of the current mill right up until the transfer phase, present Metsä Fibre's personnel with a big, yet interesting, challenge.

“The current mill employs 170 top professionals of pulp production, due to which our starting points for the start-up of the new mill are excellent,” says Lasse Brandt, SVP, HR, for the bioproduct mill.

The current mill employs 170 top professionals of pulp production.

Although the new mill will not bring any changes to the basics of pulp production, the personnel must take in plenty of new information at a rapid pace.

“This is a truly major learning journey for us, one which requires good motivation and a readiness for change. We want to ensure that everyone has a realistic chance of learning something new,” says Brandt, echoed by Camilla Wikström, Mill Manager of the bioproduct mill.

It is the job of Lasse Brandt, SVP, HR, of the bioproduct mill, and Camilla Wikström, Mill Manager, to ensure that the amount and competence of the personnel are at the right level when the bioproduct mill starts up and the old mill will be shut down. Photos: Metsä Group

This is a truly major learning journey for us, one which requires good motivation and a readiness for change.


Training is underway

The personnel's training began with two training days last year. Miko Kemiläinen, Project Engineer, is charged with organising the training and working as a link between the operating mill and the project.

“Miko and I conducted development plan discussions with every process manager. The discussions focused on what the operations at the new mill demand from employees. The importance of maintenance, for example, will grow. In the future, everyone must also master competence areas from other departments,” says Brandt.

This year, there have been a total of six training days.

“So far, the training has focused on areas such as maintenance, the SAP system, process competence and rail safety,” adds Brandt.

The personnel's training began with two training days last year.

At the beginning of next year, everyone will be provided with a two-week theoretical training period, implemented in four groups.

“After this, the induction into and training for the machinery and equipment will be continued in corresponding periods at the bioproduct mill, as part of the trial run and start-up phase.”


Personnel involved in the new

The skills of the operating mill's personnel are also put to use in the design of the bioproduct mill's equipment and in risk assessments.

“A total of 13 daytime process managers focus their energies on matters involving the bioproduct mill. They also function as information communicators towards the personnel of the operating mill,” says Wikström.

Employees are closely involved in the project and the training nearly all the time, but according to Brandt, this has been prepared for with the help of fixed-term workforce, for example, and by resources obtained from Metsä Fibre's other mills.

“By next summer, we'll have help from the other mills and a total of about 80 fixed-term employees. This allows us to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the current mill.”

The training of the operating mill's personnel has already started. This year, there have been a total of six training days. Miko Kemiläinen, Project Engineer (right), organises the training of the operating mill's personnel.


No-one is on their own

Brandt and Wikström stress that compliance with plans, active communications and open dialogue are the most important tools for a successful learning process.

It's important to remember that no-one is on their own in this, and that you can always get support from your colleagues.

“It's important to remember that no-one is on their own in this, and that you can always get support from your colleagues,” Wikström says.

“What I've learned in an increasingly concrete sense during this project is that the world is changing and we have to change with it,” adds Brandt.

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