Nico and Riku found work as mechanics at Raute straight after graduation

Mervi Hyyrynen

Nico Ijäs and Riku Hepolehto, who studied mechanical engineering at Salpaus Further Education, found employment at Raute straight after graduation.

Nico Ijäs and Riku Hepolehto, who studied mechanical engineering at Salpaus Further Education, found employment at Raute straight after graduation. Sami Ritanen, a Foreman at Raute’s assembly unit, explains that Raute regularly offers trainee positions to students with trainee agreements. Apprenticeship agreements have also been applied to summer jobs, for example. The company offers training opportunities for students who will qualify as mechanical fitters, machinists, electricians, and plate welders. Maintenance engineering students have also been offered trainee positions. The trainees have included both young and mature students and people looking to retrain.

Working independently as part of a great team

Nico Ijäs graduated as a mechanical fitter in 2011 and landed a job at Raute straightaway. 

‘I got to know Raute during an on-the-job training period and I later had a summer job here. After gaining my qualification, I found work at Raute and I have been here for just over ten years now.’ 

Ijäs was interested in the field because he enjoys working with his hands. His relatives also helped sway his decision as they said that there would always be work in the metal sector. His tasks as a mechanical fitter have involved the installation of large wood processing machines and, more recently, also tasks at the painting shop. 

‘The work requires precision but it is tidy and pleasant work and I like our work team. For me, the best part is having the opportunity to work independently without anyone breathing down my neck,’ explains Ijäs, summing up the best aspects of his work.

Diverse tasks came as a pleasant surprise

Riku Hepolehto had a summer job at Raute while still at comprehensive school and considered the company as a potential future employer already then. After school, he primarily applied to study plumbing and construction, with the machinery and metal sector only as his third option. 

‘I have not regretted for a day that I ended up working in this field even though I was initially disappointed,’ says Hepolehto, with a smile. 

He qualified as a mechanical fitter in 2014 and was offered a permanent job by Raute immediately after graduation. 

‘Beforehand I thought working at a factory would be monotonous but I have found it to be varied and diverse.’ 

To begin with, Hepolehto was mentored by more experienced fitters, working alongside them, but over time he has been given more responsibility and more demanding tasks. Hepolehto’s work also involves gigs in various parts of Finland and abroad. As a good example of mentoring, Hepolehto mentions his first work trip abroad where he assembled a production line with a more experienced fitter, after which he has performed similar tasks on his own. 

‘In this work being able to concentrate and manage the big picture and having initiative are a definite bonus.’

A successful training period is the best recommendation

This is how Sami Ritanen describes Raute’s training practices: 

‘We have selected employees who want to offer guidance to students to act as mentors. Some of their working time is allocated for these tasks, and the mentoring continues throughout the training period to ensure that the work is safe and runs smoothly. In principle, students get to carry out similar tasks to their mentor, taking into consideration their skills and age.’ 

In the assembly unit, machines are assembled in line with the drawings and instructions. The competences include the ability to interpret drawings and the knowledge of machine parts, bearing installations, pneumatics, hydraulics, and power transmission. 

Ritanen offers encouragement to students, saying that no one has to know everything straight after graduation. 

‘The most important thing is to have the desire and motivation to learn; we offer training in the tasks here. In this work, you can succeed even if you do not have a head for books but prefer to use your hands. A successful training period is the best recommendation, which can open doors to a summer job or permanent work here. Good new professionals are worth their weight in gold to us and the entire technology sector.’

Practice in job-seeking skills

Minna Nuutinen, a lecturer at Salpaus, explains that Salpaus regularly sends first-year machine and production technology students to Raute for a four-week training period. During this period, the students carry out basic tasks, such as assembly and installation work, and tasks are also selected on the basis of the students’ skills. 

‘It is important to students also to learn job application skills. Students send their CVs to me and I forward them to our contact person at Raute. They then decide how many students they can have as trainees at that point.’ 

To students, training periods offer a great opportunity to learn about the workplace and the work in practice. After a successful training period, summer jobs can also be arranged via an apprenticeship agreement, allowing students to advance their studies over the summer.

About Salpaus

Salpaus Further Education is one of the biggest vocational education provider in Finland. Our main goal is to serve Lahti region. Salpaus was established on 1 January 2001. Our training programmes include basic vocational qualifications as well as further and specialist qualifications for all ages and backgrounds.

Salpaus Services Ltd was founded on January 1, 2017 to offer versatile and high-quality non-degree-oriented training. It provides various forms of training for work life, supplementary skills education and immigrant integration training. Salpaus Services also can offers for your business skill level mapping, development services and tailor-made training to fulfil your company’s needs.