Educational institutions and the industry

With help from companies, educations can support digitization in practice

Currently, many industries are undergoing technological changes, and for this reason the need for digital skills are becoming more crucial. As LEAN specialist at Siemens Gamesa, Tommy Kusk Larsen has experienced the demand for technological skills and challenges that can arise from digitalisation processes at first hand. Companies can face different challenges that could be solved by digitizing aspects of their work processes. But without employees with the right technological skills, digitization can be overwhelming. According to Tommy, the educational framework developed in the TEFFIC project is a step towards preparing students for these challenges before they enter the labour market.

Start bit by bit

Some companies in the industry are already involved in big digitization projects where they implement and use the newest technology. However, it may not be all companies that are ready for this.

”If people are not comfortable with technological changes, there is a risk that your digital solution will not be used or be used incorrect,” says Tommy. When it comes to digital solutions, it is crucial to meet people at their level and show them from day one how the solution will benefit them.

Everybody should be able to work with the solution – whether they are digital experts or not. Tommy emphasises that starting with small and simple solutions is better than overwhelming employees with solutions they do not understand or are too complicated to maintain. “It is always possible to build on the solutions you already have,” he adds.

A need for practical oriented education

In Tommy’s opinion, educational institutions in Denmark are good at teaching students the skills that are needed in the industry. Tommy completed two education at UCN and a masters at the local university, and during his studies, he got both theoretical knowledge about the field and insights into the industry.

“UCN are practical oriented in their way of teaching. They take the time to listens to the demand from the industry and use this knowledge to plan their studies,” Tommy says. In relation to this, Lasse Christiansen, project manager on the TEFFIC project, says: “Our educational framework provides educational institutions with an approach to train students to work with real life problems which will be useful once they enter labour market.”

More support from the industry

“I think educational institutions benefit greatly when companies and people from the industry offer to present their knowledge or the challenges that they face in the industry to students.” These were Tommy’s words when he was asked how the industry can support the educational intuitions even further. Lasse explains that TEFFIC’s educational framework is a way to provide students with practical examples from the industry besides the theory.

Though theoretical knowledge serves as a good foundation, practical skills are just as useful when entering the labour market. “I do interviews for different articles and presentations for students at UCN in order to promote practical-oriented education because students from these institutions can have great value for companies in the industry,” Tommy adds at the end.