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Trade union federation SAK train employees with the financial support of Google

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK and Workers' Educational Association TSL will provide digital training skills to one thousand employees in the next two years. Google.org is supporting the project to the tune of 220,000 euro.

The Skillplus programme will focus on helping workers whose professions are undergoing high rates of change due to technology. These branches tend to be in industry, services, construction and transport. There is also training for those who’ve lost their jobs due to the corona pandemic.

Training sessions take from one to four days and are for 12 – 20 people. And it is free for employees and employers alike. The content depends on the needs of the participants. The first training pilot was held in April for Finnish Construction Trade Union members. SAK and TSL cooperate with the unions in organising the courses.

The Workers’ Educational Association TSL is in charge of the practicalities. It has a long and wide experience in this field: established in 1919 and with 60,000 annually people joining its educational events.

Jarkko Eloranta, the President of SAK, sees the project as essentially a means to offer people feasible possibilities to learn digital skills regardless of their background or life situation.

“According to SAK’s working conditions barometer, more than a quarter of employees feel they are more or less at the mercy of technology in their work”, he adds.

The barometer also reveals that more than half know how to use the technology needed at work, young people faring better than older people, in this respect. However, four out of ten employees have some kind of skills shortage.

In 2019, Google supported a similar SAK and TSL project Futurefit for 230 employees. The project involved five European countries with 12 trade unions and trade union federations taking part.

In 2017, Google supported the development of a freelance journalists’ billing system run by a cooperative Mediakunta that is a part of the Union of Journalists in Finland.

Heikki Jokinen

Read more:

Google to finance development of Union project (28.12.2017)