Future Expert Training: Bringing Up the Potential of International Talents

15 Oct 2020
by Ida Riikonen

During the Future Expert Training program last summer, our international talents worked around themes of digitalization, traveling trends, urbanization, responsible consuming and many more. The aim of the program was to bring up the knowledge and talents of international highly educated jobseekers.

The Future Expert Training program was organized in co-operation with ELY (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) and TE Services (Public employment and business services) of Pirkanmaa. “The goal was to bring up the activity of the team members: to create an environment where they could make all the decisions on their own, through their own interests. We want people to get excited about what they’re doing and be let by their passions. We succeeded in it in our Future Expert Training”, tells Janne Eskola (COO, Demola).

For automation engineer Karthhic R Ponnalagi this was the second Demola program he took part in. The first time was during his master’s degree program in Tampere University of Technology. “I consider myself as a maker. I like to build things, it’s about who I am. It’s harder to explain than to build. The point for me in this project (titled ‘Tweeking the Tourism’) was what I can do technology-wise.”


Karthhic R Ponnalagi

The main challenges in the employment process for international jobseekers are language skills and the lack of contacts. According to Noora Luomaranta (Specialist, Business Services, International Recruiting) from TE Services, the language skill should not be considered as a problem or a restriction, rather a developing matter. “Neither the jobseeker nor the employers should think the question about the language as black and white. There are so many potential jobseekers, and if the company is willing to recruit international talents, we in TE Services have tools and networks to help out with the training as well. We offer this joint purchase of education, so it is possible for the companies to get subsidized language and international work community trainings. I encourage companies to contact us, let’s find solutions together!”

In the Finnish job market, networking is very important. The officials at the TE Services have noticed that there is a lot of potential from different educational backgrounds among the jobseekers. The potential might be untapped, though: it is often difficult for the talents to bring up their skills – sometimes it is hard to recognize one’s strengths and let employers know of them. In addition, the international talents may leave their previous job experiences untold, if the job doesn’t reflect their own core knowledge. ”Most employers are interested in any work experience that our international talents have gained in Finland”, reminds Luomaranta.

R Ponnalagi emphasizes the meaning of contacts as well. “At university I focused on studying and getting credits. I didn’t really know about networking or realize I should have been doing that. This is one issue with international students. We think ‘We came here to study, so let’s study.’ I do have a lot of Finnish friends and sometimes they’re telling me about interesting job advertisements, but often the information comes into my knowledge late, and the registration or application period has already ended. The pandemic has changed the situation as well, since I don’t meet my friends regularly”, he explains.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be seen later, but Luomaranta reckons that the possibilities of remote working will be exploited. What if companies would hire employees without the requirement of physical attendance? It would open interesting options to international recruiting.

The benefits of training programs

As R Ponnalagi mentioned earlier, for some people it is easier to make than explain. In Demola people get to exploit their own passions and knowledge. In TE Services the affects have been noted. “Getting into these training programs really boosts up the motivation towards job seeking. For talents who have been looking for a job for a long time, the professional self-esteem may have decreased a bit. It is important to get a chance to bring up one’s know-how and increase new knowledge. Many of the participants have also gained new ideas during these training periods. For example, entrepreneurship is seen as one new option to try.” Luomaranta tells. “Training programs also increase jobseekers’ knowledge on the local job market”, she adds.

Janne Eskola encourages jobseekers and students to network through things they are really into, not just for the sake of networking. “Do what you love doing and find people who are passionate about the same things as you are. It doesn’t matter what your educational background or your current field of profession is – just show your enthusiasm!”

What’s next?

Karthhic R Ponnalagi’s outlook on the future is positive. “In the automation field, things are changing drastically. Robots are doing even the silliest tasks, less labour and continuous work is needed. Automation boom is happening, but companies are still a bit hesitant about what the standards are going to be. Standards are changing. No one is repairing the devices anymore, anything is replaceable. You don’t need all those electronic components anymore, since all those functions can be put in one simple chip. The change is dynamic, and I have to be dynamic as well, to stay on track about all the trends and technologies! I’m preparing for the future, but I cannot say I’ll be this or that in the future. One of my interest in automation is to reduce waste. I am already designing products on my own.”

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