Job Shadowing - Work Placements - Vocational Education in Finland -[from Mr Stéphane Bauza] publié le 20/03/2023

The Pays d’Aunis high vocational school teachers on a trip to Savonlinna.

Job Shadowing, Work Placements and Vocational Education in Finland

Cindy Neveu (Maths & Science teacher), Naziha Hadri (French & History teacher) and Stéphane Bauza (French & English teacher, responsible for the Erasmus+ projects) had the opportunity to do some job-shadowing and visit two of their computer-aided joiner students (Justin Hounnouvi and Elouan Robert), in their final year of Baccalauréat Professionnel in their host company, Restamaster Oy.


They did a five-week work placement in this company which is specialized in the making of original and functional wooden furniture for public interiors and whose customers come from all around Finland. The latest are mainly restaurants, night clubs, luxury hotels and companies looking for custom-made furniture in their conference rooms and offices. It was a great opportunity for our students to work with new wood species, learn new techniques, share knowledge with their colleagues, use the English langage on a daily basis and discover a new culture.


Justin and Elouan admitted it was a little difficult to communicate in English in the first days after their arrival in Savonlinna, but that, after only one week, they felt more and more comfortable speaking English.

As teachers, it was a great opportunity for us to visit the different departments of Samiedu, discover and share our experiences with our Finnish colleagues on the specificities of their education system. Samiedu is a high-quality institution and an excellent coordinator and partner in pedagogical development projects. They stand as a four-time winner (2017, 2011, 2007, 2003) of the National Quality Award granted by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for developing good practices in vocational education and training. They depend on and are managed by a federation of education formed by six municipalities in the Savonlinna region. The vocational high school offers over 40 qualifications, among which Vehicle Mechanic, Food Production, Hairdressing and Beauty Care, Mechanical Engineering and Production Technology, Logistics, Wood Industry... There is a great flexibility so that students can study online, on their workplace or at school.
In addition to practical skills, they believe in knowledge, research and technology and make sure that their students get to work with the newest technologies in their fields.

Savonlinna is a beautiful small town of about 33000 inhabitants, located in the heart of the Lake District in Eastern Finland


. The major industries in the region are tourism, services, wood industry and mechanical, electrical and electronic industries. Savonlinna is famous for its world-renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival, held in the medieval castle of Olavinlinna.

During our stay, we shared convivial moments with our students and Finnish colleagues who had organized special cultural activities for us : ice-skating on a frozen lake, tasting of local recipes, visit of the National Finnish Forest Museum called « Lusto » located in Punkaharju, in the midst of the most beautiful landscape of ridges and lakes in Eastern Finland.

Of course, we enjoyed beautiful landscapes and sometimes had to face extreme temperatures (up to -20 degrees Celsius).


We were not lucky enough to see the Northern Lights, though we did occasionally witness a few snowball projections.

On the same period, two of our cabinet-maker students in Brevet des Métiers d’Art and one apprentice in joinery were doing their internships in Norway (Levanger) and Germany (Beckum).

We want to thank all of our European partners involved in Erasmus+ mobility projects for giving our pupils the opportunity to discover new techniques, new ways of working and new cultures.