Topias (left) and Kristian all got summer jobs at Mäkelä Alu. The company employs about 60 summer employees.

This spring, Sanna Moilanen, Occupational Health and Safety Manager and EHS Coordinator, has once again ordered about 60 new pairs of safety shoes, uniforms, and other work equipment. Their users, i.e. summer workers, joined our team in May. That’s when Mäkelä Alu’s summer begins.

Moilanen is responsible for providing summer workers with induction on safety protocols and for coaching supervisors.

According to Moilanen, summer workers always bring a nice boost to the factory’s everyday operations. They also help ensure that the permanent workers get to go on their well-deserved holidays.

“One funny observation is that there are always familiar last names and younger versions of familiar faces among the summer workers, as our employees’ children often apply for a summer job in our company,” says Moilanen.


Induction covers several important aspects

Mäkelä Alu invests in induction and guidance for new employees. It is the joint responsibility of supervisors, work induction supervisors, and Moilanen and the rest of the work community also takes part in it.

“We want to offer young people a good summer job, a good experience of working life and of our company, and a safe work environment.”

What does employee induction require in practice? It is understandable that everyone needs induction and guidance when they start a new job. When over fifty employees are hired within a month, it adds a whole new dimension to our day-to-day operations in the spring and early summer, and naturally requires a lot of time and effort.

“This year, about 15 summer workers are completely new to our company. The rest have worked here in previous years.”


Instructions and rules are summarised in an induction portal

Before starting work, summer workers can log in to Mäkelä Alu’s online induction portal. The portal contains guidelines, safety instructions, and information about Mäkelä Alu’s rules and practices.

“The portal may also contain instructions that seem obvious – such as the fact that the workwear specified by the employer and proper safety equipment must always be worn. However, it is important that the employees go through all the material, otherwise they may not know all the nuts and bolts: for example, where to park their car or what to do in exceptional circumstances.

As a new feature, the portal also contains information about unit-specific quality issues.

New employees must also complete a small test in the portal to help them thoroughly learn and understand the instructions.

When summer work begins, everyone participates in a feedback session organised by Moilanen, where the test is discussed and everyone takes turns to answer questions.

The summer workers will attend these sessions in small groups according to their shifts.


Work induction supervisors play an important role

Work induction supervisors play an important role at workstations.

Each unit has several work induction supervisors. They are responsible for providing practical guidance and supervising the summer employees’ work. A check list ensures that everything necessary is taught.

“This is something we are increasingly investing in. Each unit makes sure that there are enough work induction supervisors in each shift. They play an important role in setting an example,” says Moilanen.

All units are taking extra safety precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Work induction supervisors are responsible for ensuring that new employees are familiar with unit-specific practices and that they follow the specified coronavirus safety precautions. Fortunately, the summer seems to be bringing some relief to these practices.


From matriculation examination to working life

Topias Pursiainen, 18, will be celebrating his graduation at the beginning of June. Topias got a summer job at Mäkelä Alu’s extrusion line, which he started in April, right after his matriculation exams.

“I didn’t know much about Mäkelä Alu in advance. I applied here because Mäkelä Alu is a big employer, and the location is also fairly convenient.” 

Topias was well trained for his job. For two weeks, he worked alongside a permanent employee, who taught him well. Topias gives full marks to his thorough induction. He has also been very pleased with his work team.

Topias’ future plans include completing a polytechnic degree.

But what about his expectations for the summer?

“We’re definitely in for a warm summer this year. I don’t at all mind spending the summer working,” says Topias, pleased with his new job.


A return to the aluminium industry

Kristian Pohjonen, 22, got a summer job at Mäkelä Alu’s anodising unit. The company was already familiar to him, as he had worked there for one summer five years ago, before joining the army.

Since then, he has worked in another industry. Now he is thinking about venturing back into the aluminium industry.

“I hope that I can continue here after the summer. We have already briefly discussed the matter,” says Kristian.

“I appreciate the way things are handled at Mäkelä Alu. I am happy with my supervisor and head of unit.”

Kristian is also pleased with the induction and guidance he has received. He was already familiar with his work induction supervisor.

“My own expectations relate to the fact that I wish I could learn everything new in my unit in a short amount of time.”