Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF): The Forest Ambassador campaign

The Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF), in partnership with the Finnish Forest Association and nine leading forest industry companies – including Stora Enso – launched the “Forest Ambassador Campaign” in 2013.

This initiative aims to attract young talent to the forest sector by highlighting the merits of a career in forestry and sharing up-to-date information about the sector.  The need to recruit young skilled individuals is crucial to the forest industry because it is facing an increasingly aging workforce while being one of Finland’s most significant employers and export industry. Every year, more than 300 schools across the country, reaching tens of thousands of adolescents, are visited by a forest ambassador. The campaign is welcomed by students and volunteers and has contributed to improving the sector’s attractiveness to the youth. 

Background

The forest sector faces an increasing ageing workforce and is competing with sectors over younger, smaller age groups. By distributing up-to-date information and by communicating details about the sector’s employment outlook, its transformation, sustainability, and responsibility, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF)'s Forest Ambassador Campaign aims to increase the forest sector's attractiveness among the youth.

Initiative

Every year, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF), the Finnish Forest Association, and forest industry companies organise a national school campaign that reaches tens of thousands of 15-year-olds, young people that are at an age when they start to think about careers, to increase their knowledge about the forest industry.

Companies participating to the Ambassador campaign include: Versowood Group Oy, Tornator Oyj, UPM-Kymmene Oyj, Pölkky Oy, Metsä Group, Stora Enso Oyj (biggest contributor), Kotkamills Oy, Sappi, DS Smith ja Koskisen Oy.

Key outcomes & lessons learned

The campaign seeks to encourage young people to apply for forest studies and work in forest industry companies, so the outcomes of the initiative can only be assessed in the long-term.

Nevertheless, the campaign represents a successful example of community investment by volunteering. The Forest ambassador volunteers and participating schools have been very enthusiastic about the campaign. Both students and teachers have been positively surprised by the wide range of professions and new innovations in the forest sector.

More information

To learn more about the campaign and/or the projects and initiatives of the FFIF, please consult https://www.metsateollisuus.fi/alalle-toihin/mahdollisuuksien-metsa-suomen-suurin-tyopaikka/

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