The transformation of work, digitalization, and the automatization of companies change the nature of work in all industries. The Urban Growth Vantaa Project aims to support the growth and development of companies in Vantaa and to find solutions for skills development for the Vantaa workforce.

The services of the Urban Growth Project are aimed at SMEs employing 10-200 people in the capital region, as well as to the workforce in Vantaa — both the employed and unemployed. Business growth will be supported by building on the competence of staff and creating new jobs. The project consists of three growth deals that combine elements of growth and social responsibility. Each growth deal has a different focal point, with service packages for the deals that vary accordingly. Services include recruitment services, training, and coaching.

Choosing a customer-oriented e-learning platform

The aim of training and coaching is to ensure that companies receive more skilled employees, helping them to succeed. That's why the training content is integrated into one’s own work tasks, making them genuinely useful.

"The training was formulated in accordance with a model of integrated learning to include both in-person training and online learning. For online learning, we needed an easy-to-use learning platform that supports learning and that allows you to review materials according to your own schedule," explains Anniina Honkonen of Laurea University of Applied Sciences, who works on the project.

Strengthening your own skills while working requires a platform that is easy and quick to access, and for users to be able to find the information they’re looking for with ease. The visuality of the online learning platform also plays an important role in the user experience. Before selecting the platform, we tested 12 different options. Honkonen explained this process well in her article.

"Above all, we were looking for a customer-oriented learning platform. Our aim is to inspire new target groups to take part in the training, even those less accustomed to continuous learning. For this reason, it was important that the threshold for using the platform be low. We paid particular attention to the usability, functionality, and visuality of the service, both in terms of content and, for example, in terms of monitoring study progress," explains Elina Taponen of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, one of the project managers.

"Based on the data, we can consider what we should be doing differently."

Project stakeholders had a clear vision of the minimum features required for the online learning platform. These features included the possibility to allow for interaction, as well as monitoring analytics.

"In terms of guidance, it’s important that we can give individual feedback and that we have access to usage analytics for the whole course. Vuolearning has succeeded in this and proven to be very functional overall. We appreciate Vuolearning’s versatile functionalities and even just the fact that we can get the learning environment to match the look of the project with its logo and colors," Taponen continues.

The content and materials of the training vary according to both the themes of the training and the instructors themselves. The content consists of task sections as each instructor creates content based on their own pedagogical material. In order to facilitate learning, it is important to get information about the functionality of the various elements.

"Collected data provides us with information about behavior, including data on the completion of tasks or video views. We are able to analyze the information we receive and use it to develop our services. The figures are monitored both by individual trainers and in terms of the project as a whole. This allows us to consider what should be done differently and what is working as is," Honkonen explains.

There have also been good experiences with customer service.

"We have received quick and knowledgeable service. The training included in the implementation was also successful and went smoothly," Honkonen says.

The project will be implemented with a diverse group, including the following stakeholders in various roles: Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Vantaa Vocational College Varia, Employment services and business services of the City of Vantaa, the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, the Labour Institute for Economic Research (PT), ETLA Economic Research, Vantti, Finnair Cargo, Solteq, InfoCare and ISS Services.

The Urban growth — GSIP Vantaa project receives 80% of its funding from the UIA fund’s Jobs and Skills program. Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Commission-funded program aimed at finding new innovative solutions to the challenges facing cities.