Knowledge about the continuance of work motivates learning

After more than forty working years, Markku Kosonen, Operator at Metsä Fibre, is facing something new. Even though work at the pulp mill has always involved continuous learning, the transfer to the bioproduct mill requires even more intense training.

The training aimed at the personnel of the operating mill began last year already, and its pace will pick up over the winter.

“The studying is motivated by the fact that you get to be involved in doing something new while knowing that the new mill will provide a job for everyone,” says Kosonen, who is 58.

The studying is motivated by the fact that you get to be involved in doing something new.

He was already involved in the construction and start-up of the current pulp mill in the mid-1980s. Kosonen's solid experience has also been in demand in the bioproduct mill project. Throughout the autumn he, like many of his colleagues, has travelled to Tampere on several occasions to test the programs of the equipment suppliers.

“At the moment, I'm involved in the factory acceptance tests, in which we test the mill's equipment circuit by circuit.”
 

Markku Kosonen, Operator, is looking forward to the moment when the bioproduct mill will start up for real. Kosonen was already involved in the construction of the current mill in the mid-1980s. Photos: Metsä Group


“Pulp production is pulp production”

Kosonen is mindful of the fact that the construction of the bioproduct mill is an exceptionally fast-paced venture.

“This demands some flexibility from the personnel. We have to pay attention to how each one of us is coping, because people are learning new things from various starting points.”

Even so, Kosonen is very confident that the bioproduct mill will start up as planned.

“The process equipment has changed over the years, but the control systems, for example, are familiar from the operating mill. Pulp production is pulp production, and that's something we know how to do here.”


Getting an apprenticeship feels like winning the lottery

Since last spring, 27-year-old Teemu Hakalax has also been learning the ropes of pulp making on the basis of an apprenticeship. Before his new learning path, he worked in the debarking department as a fixed-term employee.

“Pulp production has always interested me. The new mill also creates faith in the continuity of this line of work at Äänekoski. Getting the apprenticeship from among more than a thousand applicants did feel like winning the lottery.”

The new mill also creates faith in the continuity of this line of work at Äänekoski.

Hakalax, who enjoys spending his free time outdoors, is convinced that bioeconomy is a field of the future.

“This industry is developing rapidly, and I enjoy the fact that you can learn new things at work all the time.”

Like the rest of the personnel, Hakalax participates in training related to the bioproduct mill.

“I'm fairly confident that, as long as I do my job well, the bioproduct mill will also provide me with a job for years to come.”

Teemu Hakalax, who lives in Äänekoski, is studying to become an operator through an apprenticeship. In late October, he was in the control room learning how to run the recovery boiler. The studies include a period this autumn during which he also tours Metsä Group's other pulp mills.

 

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