How to make mechanical engineering attractive again?

Student group picture

Students Andreas Hansen (left), Samuli Tyyskä, Jordi Mata Garcia, Ketevan Kartsydze, Aino-Maija Muntila and Alisa Elizarova developed ways to make the industry look like a more attractive career option in the eyes of young people. Kari Muranen (third right), DIMECC’s Senior Ecosystem Lead, brought the industry’s view. PHOTO Andreas Hansen

Intelligent Industry ecosystem took on solving the problem facing mechanical engineering. Even though the companies in the field are modern and offer exciting opportunities to work with for variety of skill profiles, the companies in the field are not attracting talent as they used to.

Intelligent Industry ecosystem wanted to hear millennials to understand why mechanical engineering is lacking interest among the new generations.

“The manufacturing industry directly or indirectly provides employment or livelihood for well over one million Finns. If we are not able to attract significantly more young people to the industry, then even our national well-being and future will be threatened,” says Intelligent Industry ecocsystem lead Kari Muranen, who was responsible for the Apathy Against the Machine -project on behalf of DIMECC.

The problem was approached through Demola’s professionally facilitated student teams and insight from the industry’s point of view came from top companies in the manufacturing industry, such as Fastems, Raute, Konecranes and HT Laser.

“The companies’ contribution to the project was absolutely central, otherwise, the students would not have been able to understand how advanced Finnish industry really is. Although there is talk of manufacturing, digital know-how is central and, for example, the importance of artificial intelligence in both industrial processes and business models has grown at a tremendous pace. This is also why industry competes for far too few digital experts in Finland. This was also new for many students,” says Kari Muranen about the project.

Fastems, HT Laser, Konecranes and Raute are all active players in the Intelligent Industry ecosystem, which brings together a large number of top Finnish companies. The image problem of industry is largely common to everyone, so the project is expected to benefit the entire industry – and thus the entire country.

The student team gathered by Demola included students from the University of Helsinki & Arcada University of Applied Sciences.

Read about the project in Finnish from Eurometalli 7/2020 page 40.