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STUDY OPTIONS – LIFE-LONG LEARNING
Thoughts About Learning
Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences. Human learning is a life-long learning process which continues as a consequence of ongoing interactions between person and environment.
Active learning occurs when a person takes control of his/her learning experience. Active learning encourages learners to have an internal dialogue in which they verbalize understandings.
We are also encouraged to understand learning as a method of keeping up with the changes in a Transformative way. An important part of transformative learning is for individuals to change their frames of reference by critically reflecting on their assumptions and beliefs and consciously making and implementing plans that bring about new ways of defining their worlds.
Now we would like to invite you to watch the video where Yuliya is sharing her experiences about studying and working in Finland. She is happy with the opportunities offered to her and the support she has received at work. She appreciates opportunities to study at the same time as working.
Finland offers great opportunities for Life-long learning. Foreigners coming to work to Finland from abroad probably don´t know the options and they appreciate the information offered by employers.
eLearning courses can be a good option as in the eLearning process, by adapting to the needs of individuals, the context-driven instruction can be dynamically tailored to the learner’s natural environment. Augmented digital content includes text, images, video and audio (music and voice). By personalizing instruction, augmented learning has been shown to improve learning performance for a lifetime.
Studying can be even more motivating if you receive a degree or diploma. Many of the studies can be combined while working, please read more about the options below.
Vocational qualifications - general information
Vocational qualification is a good option to show one´s skills and get a diploma, learning new skills and update previous skills obtained by studies and working experience. Vocational qualifications are a good choice both for would-be and experienced professionals as there are options for everyone. It's not obligatory to do the whole qualification if not needed, it's also possible to do only one vocational unit.
Vocational qualifications are
1) Vocational upper secondary qualifications (perustutkinto)
2) Further vocational qualifications (ammattitutkinto)
3) Special vocational qualifications (Erikoisammattitutkinto).
Each student is provided with a personal competence development plan (HOKS) and workplaces have an important role to play in acquiring knowledge and skills.
The degree also includes workplace training, which can be arranged as a training contract or as an apprenticeship agreement between an institution, student and workplace. The apprenticeship agreement (oppisopimus) is based on fixed-term employment or employment relationship, so an apprenticeship student is employed, gets a salary and most of the knowledge accumulates at work.
You find more information about apprenticeship here: Oppisopimus
Skills based on qualifications are demonstrated with competence tests in practical work and evaluated on a bilateral basis with representatives from working life and education provider. There is no time limit for completion of the qualification to be awarded and the degree of qualifications are given as competence points. Existing competencies are taken into account in a personal study plan and existing skills can be directly demonstrated on the competency tests.
A training contract (koulutussopimus) is another kind of agreement, normally for a shorter period and no salary is paid for it. All the students should have training included as part of the vocational studies.
"Koulutussopimus" is the new word for "työssäoppiminen" and you can learn more about it here: Koulutussopimus
Vocational upper secondary qualifications (180 competence points)
Vocational upper secondary qualification in the Tourism Industry
After completing the degree, the student acquires extensive basic vocational skills in the various fields of work in the field and at least one part of the specialized competence required for specialized knowledge and work life. In the field of tourism, you can specialize in the work of a hotel reception (receptionist), travel service sales (travel specialist) or the provision of tourist services (tourist service provider).
Vocational upper secondary qualification in Restaurant and Catering
A graduate may work in the design, implementation and sales of catering industry or customer service. In the degree, you can specialize in serving food or food preparation and professional titles are a waiter and chef.
Further vocational qualifications and Specialist Qualifications (120 or 150 points)
Further vocational and specialist vocational qualifications are primarily intended for those who have already gained working experience in the field and have specialized knowledge or skills. Further and specialist vocational qualifications have been renewed to meet the comparability of the European qualifications system and the content of their qualifications is indicated as competence points (120 or 150 points).
New Further vocational qualifications come into effect in January 2019. As a basis of the reform, the contents of the qualifications are combined and the new qualifications are:
Further vocational qualification for Tourism services.
Aimed at professionals working in the tourism industry, such as a travel organization, conference and congress services, at a hotel and other kinds of accommodation and in companies organizing events, outdoor activities and congresses.
Further vocational qualification for Guided tours
Qualification for travel guides working as a local guide, guide abroad or tour leader for tourist offices, travel agencies, tour operators, transport companies or as an entrepreneur.
Rui Yin has studied and passed the exam of one vocational unit called " Guiding in a foreign language" which is the perfect start for a tourism career in Finland.
Further vocational qualification for Customer service at a restaurant
Qualification for those with expertise in bar customer service (barman) and restaurant customer service department (waiter).
Further vocational qualification for Restaurant Cook
In the working life, a restaurant cook is able to work in the food production tasks in restaurants or cargo and passenger ships; in planning, cooking and presenting restaurant dishes and in storing foodstuffs. Restaurant Cook can also act as an independent entrepreneur in the restaurant industry.
Specialist Qualification for Supervisors in Hospitality and Accommodation industry
Qualified supervisors work in demanding senior duties in various accommodation and catering establishments such as hotels, restaurants, public catering services, cafes, fast food restaurants, restaurant stations and passenger ship restaurants and cargo ships. One can also act as an independent entrepreneur for accommodation and catering
Learn the basics of qualifications from the National Board of Education ePerusteet: Vocational Education
Where and How to Apply
Vocational education and vocational qualifications are an excellent way to acquire pragmatic skills, regardless of age or life situation. Vocational training is a good way to study even when working. Many training providers provide the opportunity for multidimensional studies and can also be acquired remotely by utilizing e-learning.
You may apply for a vocational qualification either for a joint application (completed by elementary or high school) or continuous application. On the “Study path page” (opintopolku) you will also find all the schools offering qualifications. Read more: www.opintopolku.fi
In general, the student needs to have good Finnish language skills to pass the exams and to get the qualification. There is some vocational training in English and some vocational qualifications include units where no Finnish or Swedish is required.
One option is the unit called “Guiding in a foreign language” (see the video above) which is one of the units of the Further vocational qualification for Guided tours. It is a very good option for those interested in guiding and working in activities. Studies also offer an excellent start to creating a network in Finland.
There are also some education providers offering training in English to Restaurant cooks. As the providers and their programs can change, it is better to find suitable options by using the search engine on the internet.
Working passports and short courses
In Finland, there is a very good supply of short and precision courses for staff. You will find information about them when entering our employee´s course Working passports as well as information about Responsible Tourism training and Training for Arctic Guides.