SCA Logistics is building bridges between education and an occupation

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SCA Logistics collaborates closely with study programmes in logistics and purchasing at various levels. Offering opportunities for students to undertake degree projects, placements and study visits with the company is also a priority, all to secure future skills provision. “We are striving to close the gap between education and a career, while at the same time making important connections with students,” says Kjell Arne Sköldh, Human Resources Manager at SCA Logistics.

Two higher vocational education (HVE) programmes were launched in Sundsvall in autumn semester 2022, one specialising in purchasing and one in logistics. An HVE programme in purchasing is also offered in Luleå. SCA collaborates closely with all three programmes.
“We are part of the management group for these programmes, which among other things allows us to influence the design of syllabuses. It is important that the programmes are adapted to skills that are in demand in the industry, so that students are as well-prepared as possible for their future posts,” says Kjell Arne.

Placements have dual benefits

Offering work placements is part of the collaboration with HVE programmes. These placements are referred to as learning in a work environment.
“Placements are valuable both in that we have the chance to show students what it’s like to work with us and that we have the opportunity to get to know them. Many students who undertake placements with us go on to work here,” says Kjell Arne, who considers the fact that vocational students are often somewhat older to be beneficial. “Many of them are settled and want to remain in the area. Most have also deliberately decided to invest in a new profession and want a secure, long-term position.”

Degree projects create contacts

Offering students from several different universities the opportunity to complete their degree projects with SCA is also a priority.
“We see a number of benefits to degree projects: firstly, it’s an opportunity to have an issue thoroughly investigated and, secondly, we and the student can get to know one another. It’s a great way to identify potential future employees,” explains Dennis Melarti, Operations Manager at SCA Logistics’ Sundsvall terminal. 
SCA has been involved in the Tekniksprånget work placement programme for a number of years. The programme provides four months of paid work experience in engineering for upper-secondary school graduates. 
“At SCA Logistics, young people have the chance to thoroughly acquaint themselves with a professional role. This has been a good experience for us and many of them remain with us on a fixed-term contract or in a summer job,” says Dennis.

Disseminating knowledge

Study visits and information meetings are further means of disseminating knowledge about future opportunities in logistics. Students on the Industrial Engineering and Management programme are one target group that recently paid a study visit to the terminal in Sundsvall to find out more about logistics and various occupations.
Upper-secondary students in the vehicle and transport industry programme are also among the most important target groups. 
 “We need to demonstrate that there is significant demand for plant operators in ports and docks and not only on the production side. We have a wide range of plant and we will need to employ a great many dockworkers who can operate this machinery in future, as many of our employees will be retiring,” says Kjell Arne, who stresses that future skills provision is a key issue for the entire industry.
“Collaboration with these programmes is enormously important and it’s a win-win situation for both students and us.”

Text: Kerstin Olofsson