The second commitment in the common 2050 vision of the Swedish steel industry, Steel Shapes a Better Future, involves developing creative talents.
The battle to secure the future is won by those with the best employees. Creative people ready to think big and create new products enable the Swedish steel industry to shape a better future; through more intelligent steel applications and processes that put the accent on protecting the earth’s resources.
But the steel industry must do more than just attract the best possible employees; we also need to provide the preconditions for our employees to grow and develop professionally.
The skills supply roadmap for the metals and mining sector
More than anything, it is the people who work in the industry that have made the succes of the metals and mining industries possible. A proper provision of qualified personnel plays a central role in strengthening companies’ competitiveness. At present, however, the industry faces major difficulties in recruiting new employees. Consequently, the challenge to ensure the requisite supply of skills and qualifications has emerged as a key one for the whole industry.
During 2019, Jernkontoret has prepared, in collaboration with Svemin (Swedish Association of Mines, Minerals and Metal Producers) and The Swedish Association of Industrial Employers, a new plan, Skills Supply Roadmap: The path to secured competence in the mining and steel nation Sweden. The work is carried on within the framework of the strategic innovation programme for the mining and metal extraction industry, SIP STRIM.
The Skills Supply Roadmap describes the internal challenges which the Swedish mining and metallurgical industries now face. This plan also highlights what the industries concerned, the nation’s political representatives and the education system need to do now to improve the supply of qualifications and skills to this industrial sector, something which Sweden as a whole will gain from.
What the steel industry need to do
- Work to improve the image of the steel industry and the interest in technology
- Work systematically and in a structured way with recruitment
- Offer work experience and learning at the workplace
- Open up more routes for a career within the steel industry
- Focus on enhancing the attractiveness of the regions where the steel industry operates
What the political representatives need to do
- To guarantee educational programmes and qualifications that respond to the needs of industry and commerce
- To open up more pathways into the steel industry
- To implement an active policy in favour of the Swedish regions
- To create better conditions for vocational training and higher vocational education
- To foster recruitment to science and technology careers
What the educational system need to do
- To be instrumental in stimulating interest in engineering and technology
- To interact more with industry and commerce
- To strengthen the relevance of the education offered
- To ensure that higher educational programmes maintain a high quality and that the suitable students are accepted
- To lower the thresholds between the educational levels
Leadership and dialogue
Through actively working on leadership questions, employeeship and continuous dialogue at our workplaces we are able to create even better environments for creativity and development. The imagination alone sets limits on how steel can be used in future and the new properties we are capable of offering the different steel grades.
Collaboration and skills training
In order to stimulate increased creativity and innovative thinking amongst the steel industry’s employees we encourage our employees to work with other companies and industries. A number of joint councils and committees operate in the sector where employees are able to exchange and share experiences and ideas.
Jernkontoret's councils and committees
Workplace safety and employee health
To offer safe and healthy workplaces has long been a cornerstone of employee relations policy where the steel companies are concerned. The fact that safety comes first is a matter of course for the steel companies. The steel making processes and the work of production is becoming ever safer; the number of accidents has fallen sharply through a planned approach covering management structure, employee responsibility and new technology.
Countering stress and mental ill-health is also a prioritised area; an increasing number of employees are linked to their work email and Intranet via their mobile phone at any time of day. Noise reduction, improving air quality and ergonomics have been prioritised and they have delivered major work environment improvements over a short period.
More about Work environment and safety
Diversity and gender equality
Intensive efforts are being undertaken to increase diversity and gender balance amongst the employees of the Swedish steel industry. The industry funds, for example, a support network for female engineering graduates, Women of Steel (Metallkvinnor).