The major layoffs at Nokia seem to cast dark clouds over the whole ICT sector in Finland. But Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy says that all is not as bad as it appears.
“In the economy as a whole, in Finland as well as elsewhere in Europe, there are certainly challenges. It’s not quite as depressing as it looks like from watching the news,” he says.
According to Ali-Yrkkö, bad tidings tend to drown out positive developments. Yet software companies in Finland keep employing new IT professionals.
The number of people employed in the sector in Finland grew steadily in the '90s, but a sharp change occurred in the middle of the last decade. Demand for employees in manufacture fell, but software experts are needed more than ever.
More seekers than jobs
That said, with so many IT workers laid off, there are significantly more software professionals than jobs around.
“Nokia’s strategy shift as regards adopting the Windows platform and these major cuts have hit the biggest software companies in Finland that do a lot of subcontracting for Nokia,” says researcher Juhana Peltonen from Aalto University. “On the other hand, this freed up a lot of mobile sector experts. The supply of workforce, however, in this case far outstrips recruiting capability in the short term.”
Aalto University has found that, so far, only 800 of the recently ex-Nokia software engineers have found work in their own sector.
This summer, Nokia announced plans to cut 3,700 jobs in Finland on top of hundreds already axed.
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