In a changing world, continuous development is imperative for today and tomorrow’s growth companies. As a knowledge organisation, VEO is dependent on the know-how of its personnel, and therefore skill development is key for the company’s business and competitiveness on the market.
“To support the ongoing energy transition towards a carbon neutral future, VEO is constantly developing new solutions. For this, we need top performers and systematic collaboration with educational institutions. VEO has a wonderful open atmosphere, which encourages and supports both new and senior employees to enhance their skills,” says Jarkko Aro, Head of Marketing and Business Development at VEO.
For VEO, collaboration networks are seen as an integral part of organisational learning, and the company is working closely with higher education institutions, who train the experts of tomorrow. One such collaboration partner is Vaasa University, who educates bachelors, masters, and doctors in technology and business and offers further training opportunities for VEO employees, such as an Executive MBA programme and a variety of tailored courses. With Vaasa University, VEO cooperates on several different levels:
“VEO is one of the high-level technology companies in our region, and as a university, we aim to cooperate in terms of education, research, and development,” says Marko Kohtamäki, Professor in Strategic Management and Head of the Strategic Business Development research group at Vaasa University.
Developing one’s skills after entering the workforce creates new career opportunities for the individual professional and brings updated knowledge to employers and the industry. At VEO, many employees study for higher degrees or take shorter specialised trainings alongside their work. Here, trainings are seen as a way to support the personnel’s wellbeing, work motivation and career development.
Through partner collaborations, VEO offers its employees different convenient options for skill development. Vaasa University focuses on making its trainings both relevant and flexible for students balancing work and studying:
“In addition to our degree programmes, we are happy to provide VEO with shorter tailored trainings and targeted seminars and events. Our MBA programme is working life-oriented, and courses can be taken alongside work. Working MBA students can immediately put their learnings into practice in their organisations,” explains Marjaana Suutarinen, Director of Vaasa University’s Executive Education institution, the Levón Institute.
Samuli Aflecht, System Engineer at VEO and himself a Vaasa University graduate, notes that collaborations with higher education institutions have brought many talented engineers to VEO:
“The path from student to employee builds commitment: Students can perform their practical trainings or summer jobs at VEO, do their theses for the company and finally be hired on permanent contracts when they graduate. In our production unit, we also have many engineering students who study while they work.”
Jarkko Aro, also an alumnus from Vaasa University and MBA graduate, notes that academic/industry collaborations benefit all parties:
“In a best-case scenario, companies contribute to the academic curriculum and provide lecturers to academic courses. Collaborations on research and development, in turn, create new joint opportunities, both for the companies and the academic institutions.”
Marko Kohtamäki at Vaasa University agrees:
“Close collaboration between research teams and companies enables scientific breakthroughs and strategic development for the participating companies. These collaborations also attract international and national innovation funding for future projects. In many cases, successful collaboration is long-term and multi-dimensional, covering many aspects of research, innovation, and strategic business development. Hence, it is important for companies, research institutions, and the city to invest in strengthening our innovation ecosystem to facilitate the development of the region.”
VEO is working closely with higher education institutions, who train the experts of tomorrow.