Story | 01/20/2023 11:41:00 | 3 min Read time

A cooperation where everyone wins

UPM is a company that requires a wide range of skills. The cooperation with the Salpaus Training Centre showed how an event that started with a plywood package can be combined with a wide range of expertise that benefits all parties involved.

Salpaus trains future professionals in different fields. At UPM and UPM Plywood, a wide range of skills are required at different stages of the supply chain and the importance of training is recognised. In the autumn, Lassi Suominen, a construction teacher at the Salpaus Training Centre, contacted us to discuss cooperation. 

Suominen trains and teaches, among other things, construction graduates and house builders. According to Suominen, four groups of joint applications and four groups of continuous applications start every year in the construction sector at Salpaus. In total, there are 300 students in the sector, of which 100 are new students. Salpaus has a total of nearly 13,000 students each year, offering basic, vocational and specialist qualifications in areas such as construction and woodworking. Students are constantly working both in-house and on projects for clients, and they need materials to help them train as professionals. 
 
"Building materials are consumed in large quantities, because in the learning phase, not everything may work the first time. Schools don't really have much money, so there are sometimes shortages of building materials," says Suominen, who specialises in special education. 

The school uses plywood in a variety of ways 

Suominen was told by a colleague in the wood industry that plywood could be obtained from UPM Plywood's head office in Lahti. Ari Voutilainen, UPM Plywood's Head of Stakeholder Relations, asked Suominen to fill in an application form and offer cooperation. Suominen seized the opportunity and used his contacts to attract Salpaus' logistics and media sector to join the cooperation. In September, students in the former field picked up three 1.5-tonne packages from the UPM Pellos plywood mills in Ristiina to Lahti. 

"The transport tour gave the students good practical training with loading and safety procedures", Suominen says. 

The donation included 165 pieces of grade class 2 18 mm plywood. The return on investment was guaranteed, even though the donation was limited to internal works, as in addition to the construction of detached houses, there is plenty of renovation work to be done on the Salpaus facilities.  

"We use plywood in a very versatile way, from flooring to ceilings and walls. We used the donated boards to build stages for vocational training competitions, among other things." 

UPM Plywood found that there were not too many videos about working with plywood, so Suominen contacted a media teacher at the Salpaus' Heinola campus. The students were filming plywood processing and Suominen was measuring, sawing and drilling in front of the camera, as the students were on work experience at that very moment. The edited videos ended up being used by UPM. 
 
"It's great that UPM supports education in this way. In return, we were able to make our own expertise available to them," Suominen sums up. 

UPM Plywood actively cooperates with the communities we operate in. To learn more about responsibility in various aspects of our operations, please visit our Responsibility Made Easy website. 

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