The lay-offs announced by Nokia on Wednesday should be also seen as an opportunity, says Jari-Pekka Teurajärvi (PS), a former shop steward at the manufacturing plant of Nokia and Microsoft in Oulu.
Teurajärvi points out on his blog on Puheenvuoro that previous lay-offs introduced by the technology giants in Oulu have contributed to the diversity and well-being of the local information and communications sector, and shown that there is demand for skilled software developers.
“The region currently has several small and medium operators, including international corporations, instead of a single large one,” he writes.
The local labour market has according to him consequently evolved from an employer's market to an employee's market: “Skilled workers have the opportunity to sit down with a number of firms. There is currently an urgent shortage of web experts and experienced coders.”
He also commends the regional employment services for shouldering their responsibility and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for successfully creating jobs with its investments.
“A business incubator cluster based in Oulu has also brought about an abundance of start-ups. No more than a handful of the [roughly 1,000] employees laid off by Broadcom and Microsoft in 2014 are currently registered as unemployed job-seekers,” he points out.
“If the expertise freed up by Nokia is software expertise, I am not worried about the future [of the employees]. A functional support concept is already in place in Oulu. Even if the employees are from another sector, the same concept should be applicable to re-train and re-employ them,” he continues.
Nokia announced earlier this week that it is about to shed a maximum of 1,300 jobs in Finland. Roughly one-half of the redundancies are to be made in Espoo, one-quarter in Oulu and the remaining one-quarter in Tampere.
Teurajärvi says the announcement was only a matter of time.
“News of the consultative negotiations was expected, only the timing was uncertain. It is clear that a fusion of two companies in the same industry will require that some overlapping functions are trimmed,” he reminds.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT