The skills shortage has been identified as a growing problem in almost every field of expertise, and the availability of skilled professionals has emerged as one of the biggest challenges for the growth and existence of businesses and organizations.
According to a survey conducted among Chamber of Commerce member companies nationwide, about 70 percent of companies face a shortage or a significant shortage of skilled workforce, with the figure rising to 73 percent in Northern Savonia. In Northern Savonia, 76 percent of respondents expect the recruitment needs to increase within a 2-3 year timeframe.
To enhance workforce availability, the city of Kuopio will launch an EU-funded project (“Talent Attraction Model of North Savo – Impact through Collaboration”) in collaboration with business, educational, municipal partners, and stakeholders in the business sector in the fall of 2023.
“A crucial aspect of this collaboration is to blur the boundaries between municipalities, organizations, and companies, presenting a unified employment area. The measures will be implemented from the perspective of skilled professionals, with priority given to fields experiencing a skills shortage,” says Kirsi Soininen, Marketing Director of the city of Kuopio.
The city of Kuopio serves as the main implementer and administrator of the project, with the participation of the municipalities of Iisalmi, Suonenjoki, Rautalampi, Keitele, Tervo, Vesanto, and Pielavesi.
The project aims to develop networked collaboration and support measures to alleviate the skills shortage and facilitate recruitment. During the project, a collaboration model focusing on attracting skilled professionals will be built, along with operational methods and tools to support collaboration. These include a collaboration forum, recruitment measures and roadmap, as well as comprehensive approaches to different fields of expertise.
“Ensuring the vitality of the region requires a shared operational culture among regional actors to achieve sufficient impact and reach professionals at a regional, national, and even international level,” explains Soininen.
The project aims to create a smoother service path for future skilled professionals, which will also facilitate recruitment efforts for companies. The roadmap being developed will clarify the playing field for actors and measures, aiming for more effective outcomes through joint efforts.
As a result of the project, regional collaboration will be strengthened, the availability of skilled workforce in the area will improve, and the competitiveness of companies will grow. Simultaneously, the attractiveness of the region as a place to live and work will enhance.
The regional cooperation group supports the allocation of €632,000 in funding for the two-year project from the European Social Fund.