Story | 03/16/2016 11:29:00

Our future grows on forests

Katri Länsiluoto

At UPM Wood Sourcing and Forestry, some 650 employees in 120 locations work hard to ensure that our forest owner customers' forests remain healthy and strong, and that our production facilities receive the necessary quantities of raw material every day. We could not do this on our own. A group of 300 contractors and their roughly 2,000 expert forest workers are in charge of harvesting the trees and transporting the trunks to production sites and of managing the forests in accordance with our customers' wishes.

Forest expertise is crucial and a basic requirement for many tasks. However, the range of tasks is wide, and areas such as IT system development and financial administration require different skills and knowledge. Some knowledge of the forest dynamics is, of course, useful in these roles too, also making the work more meaningful, but that side can be acquired during the induction and by asking questions while working. Forest workers will similarly benefit from other skills beyond forest expertise alone.

We consider a degree or diploma relevant to job requirements a proof that you already possess the basic skillset needed in the role, but degrees and grades are not the only selection criteria we look at when hiring new employees. UPM's values – Trust and be trusted, Achieving together, Renew with courage – describe our approach to work. In fact, in all of our roles, we appreciate a positive and customer-oriented attitude, networking skills, initiative at work and the ability to work on jobs and projects until they are finished. We expect the same from our contractors and their personnel.

Various electronic solutions are an integral part of life today and in the future. Therefore everyone, whether a forest worker mostly on his or her own in the field, a machine operator or truck driver, or an operation planner in the office, uses various systems and mobile applications all the time. To use these tools efficiently requires continuous commitment to and interest in learning and utilising new technologies. Technology supports the work and it is worth investing time and effort into learning to use it proficiently.

I graduated as an engineer from Otaniemi University, majoring in Forest Products Technology. I took subjects relating to occupational psychology and HR management as minors. I started at UPM in 1998 at the Alholma sawmill in Pietarsaari working on production processes, but also handled quality, safety and environmental development projects. In 2001, I took up a new role with the HR department of our sawmills and plywood mills.

I started at my current job as an HR Manager at Wood Sourcing and Forestry in 2010. Our current three-strong team is responsible for HR planning and development programmes for Wood Sourcing and Forestry. UPM gives you the chance to take on a variety of tasks and move on to new things. You will be successful as long as you are interested in developing your skills and knowledge.

Forestry is a sector for the future and is continuously changing and evolving. New investments will increase the use of wood acquired from sustainably managed Finnish forests, while technology constantly advances. This means that the sector will continue to need people with different skillsets, ready to take on the challenge of developing the operations throughout the chain, from forests to the mills. Katri Länsiluoto, PR Manager