Investing in leadership

10 March 2016
Vuoromestarit Reino Grönlund ja Toni Huttunen

Developing leadership skills is a major focus area at UPM. The company’s apprenticeship-based training programme for managers is one example of UPM’s investments in leadership. A total of 350 people applied for the programme last autumn, and nine applicants were selected to begin their studies in February 2016.

The 18-month programme will consist of classroom teaching (10%) and practical work (90%) that participants will carry out at different UPM locations. The selected trainees already have a relevant degree and some work experience. The content of the training programme has been tailored to the needs of UPM, and focuses on leadership skills and UPM’s way of working. UPM has good experiences of apprenticeship-based training programmes as the Future Professional training programme launched in 2014 was a success.

Production managers today and in the future must have the ability to lead and motivate employees and promote company values in the field and in everyday work. A profound understanding of strategy and business targets is also needed. Once the participants have completed the programme, their employment opportunities at UPM pulp and paper mills and within the sawmill and plywood business will be examined. Investing in leadership skills benefits UPM sites in many different ways, for instance by improving the work climate and wellbeing at work. Ultimately, it makes business more efficient and productive and increases the commitment of employees.

Due to the age structure of the employees working at UPM’s Finnish mills, dozens of managers will retire over the next ten years. Compared to future needs, degree programmes in technology include very few courses on leadership, which is why there is a clear demand for a tailored apprenticeship-based training programme that will prepare employees for managerial duties. UPM is carrying out the first apprenticeship-based training programme for managers in collaboration with Kouvola Adult Education Centre. The trainees will work at the Kymi pulp and paper mill, the Kaukas pulp mill and sawmill, and the Kalso veneer mill.

Read more: www.upm.com/careers

Saara Töyssy

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