On Monday, Donsö Shipping Meet sneakily had an early start with Dag Noll - an experience-based recruitment initiative where almost 2,000 schoolchildren could try everything from navigating a ship to dive into smoke with a breathing apparatus. During the day the Minister of Education Anna Ekström (S) visited the site and held a press conference.
- I am strongly aware that the industry's major problem now is the provision of skills, and the first thing I think of is the upper secondary school's vocational programs.
Anna Ekström pointed out that the vocational programs' application rate has been halved over a period of ten years. If this is to change, cooperation is required.
- No matter how good the education is , you have to be there and make sure there are good internships. You have to make sure that there are opportunities for 14-year-olds to come and see what a modern workplace looks like. I think there is so much prejudice about dirty, insecure and difficult jobs. You also have to continue your work with environment issues - this is important for young people.
As a young person, one must also think with the heart, Anna Ekström continued. Then she urged the industry to do its best to arouse the youth's love.
- You have to do that job. No student counseler can bring that glow to the hearts of young people.
Following the speech by the Minister of Education, Caj Luoma, at the Confederation of Transport Enterprises, stated that the companies have a genuine interest in working with politics.
- But collaboration is often personal and there are no public resources to ensure that the dialogue starts or develops, he said, and asked the Minister of Education if she had any thoughts on how to ensure a business/school collaboration?
- It is a question I take with me, but I would like to point out that we have a great collaboration with the Swedish business community and LO's various unions to strengthen the vocational programs with different forms of competitions. There is a lot that must be done if we are to turn this ship around, said Anna Ekström.