Throughout its existence, Saumalaakso Oy has been strongly involved in developing the industry. Saumalaakso has been gaining personal experience in the field since the 1970s – directly from construction sites. The specialty of Saumalaakso is precast element sealing, which is a narrow specialty, there is not much written information available.
In Saumalaakso, the need to improve the know-how and professionalism of sealers was identified. In the past, work has been learned through doing, and there was no training for the industry. Therefore, Saumalaakso co-founded the national training for sealers, which guarantees the level of professionalism and continuous improvement the skills of sealers.
Education is also an important part of the continuity of the skills and know-how of new entrants. In this way, we ensure the transfer of skills to the new generation.
There are an estimated 300-400 people doing sealing work in Finland on a daily basis. The training started in 2017, when the name of the certificate obtained from the training was Sealing Work card (Saumaustyökortti). There are 126 people who have completed that training. In 2020, the new Structural Sealant certificate card (Rakenteiden saumaajan henkilösertifikaatti) was launched. 70 people have attended the renewed training.
Of the Saumalaakso employees, 43 employees (including management level) have gone through training. Including subcontractors, Saumalaakso has trained a total of about 50 people.
The training is also integrated into the vocational qualification of a house-builder.
The current Structural Sealant certificate (Rakenteiden saumaajan henkilösertifikaatti) and the former Sealing Work card (Saumaustyökortti) training, was originated by Boris Pansch, Chairman of the Board of Saumalaakso, who contacted the TTS ( Työtehoseura). In the autumn of 2016, the first meeting was held, where the content of the training was planned together with Saumalaakson Oy and TTS.
The Structural Sealant certificate is open to everyone and is organized by the TTS in cooperation with the Saumalaakso Training and Development Center Saumalaakso Academy.
Theory part lasts one day. The theory day is followed by a written exam that the candidate must pass. After this, the candidate acquires the actual professional skills by doing sealing work. The candidate has 18 months to acquire the required professional skills and pass a competence test. Only after passing the theory test and the competence test will they receive the certificate.
The skills of employees are important as are the guarantees a certificate gives potential customers. The issue is how to create a norm for a business segment that everyone adheres to. In this case the certificate is not required and therefore it’s impact is relatively low at the moment.
In general educating employees and making sure their skill levels are of high standards are good planet acts as they raise the quality of work and also support the wellbeing of the workers.