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Monday's papers: Jobs go begging, saving food, northern snows

Several papers report that most labour shortages are focused in the local public sector and in healthcare.

Inarin koulussa maistuu kouluruoka

Kuopio's Savon Sanomat is one of the papers carrying a report of a survey indicating that while in general the nation's labour shortage has stopped growing, it is increasingly concentrated in a few professions.

Carried out by public employment authorities, the study found that demand is greatest for social workers, pre-school teachers, cleaners, speech therapists, general medical practitioners and various kinds of advanced specialists.

In contrast, there is an oversupply in the job market of secretarial staff, tailors, graphic designers, data system installers, and IT support personnel.

Previous surveys over the past few years have highlighted a crying need for more workers in the construction and industrial sectors, including construction supervisors, building site workers, and welders. While there is still a shortage in filling all the jobs in these fields, they no longer top the list.

Rural residents

Finland's urban centres are growing at the expense of smaller towns and cities and the countryside. However, most Finns seem to want to slow down, or reverse this trend.

Monday's HS Metro freesheet carries the results of a Gallup poll commissioned by its parent publication Helsingin Sanomat showing that the vast majority of Finns want to keep rural areas of the country inhabited.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents agreed that there is a need to keep all parts of the country populated. About of quarter think that it is not necessary.

Concerning measures aimed at supporting the vitality of communities outside the country's main urban areas, 64 percent were in favour of the state moving more of its administrative units to smaller towns.

On Monday Statistics Finland publishes its latest population projections.

Saving food

Jyväskylä's Keskisuomalainen reports that eight schools in that city are fighting waste by selling leftover school lunches.

One school started the practice in 2013 and the programme has expanded annually since then. At present, the schools sell lunches to an average 84 local residents each day.

Paula Puikkonen, who is responsible for child and youth food services in the city, explains that customers can eat in school cafeterias following the pupils' lunch break, and can also purchase leftover food as carry-out. Leftover school lunches are sold for 1 euro 50 cents.

According to Puikkonen, last year the city's schools sold approximately 16,000 meals that would otherwise have gone to waste. In addition, school personnel can buy food to take home from all of the city's 35 schools. In 2018, around 20,000 meals were sold to staff that would likely have otherwise been thrown out.

Puikkonen stresses that the schools are not competing with local restaurants or company lunch services, and that some days, there are no leftover meals to sell.

In a similar vein, Oulu's Kaleva reports the launch of a project aimed at cutting back of wasted food in that city.

Financed by the local Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and organized by the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, the project will initially map out where and how food in the city goes to waste, and develop logistics models aimed at cutting waste.

The project is to focus on both climate and social impacts. The latter will mean efforts to provide food aid low income groups. Project Chief Nina Niemelä told the paper that there is a need in the city for food aid, and that coordinating the logistics of food supplies that current end up as waste is needed to meet demand.

It is also thought that in the long run, means to cut back on food waste could also create new jobs.

It's snowing

In what is undoubtedly the first of many warnings over the next few months, the Finnish Metrological Institute says that snow and sleet will create hazardous driving conditions in the far north of the country on Monday.

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat was among the papers reporting that Utsjoki, in the far north of Finland, officially saw its first snowfall of the winter on Sunday, with two centimetres on the ground in the morning. To be officially counted as snowfall, the Finnish Metrological Institute requires that no less than one centimetre be measured as of 9 AM at a weather observation station.

Not only Utsjoki, but also Enontekiö and Inari may be looking at poor driving conditions due to snow and sleet.

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