Lifelong learning is a big thing for Finns

At Vesala Comprehensive School, some lessons are designed to integrate concepts from various subjects. Other skills such as teamwork and problem-solving will equip students for the real world. Just like every child in Finnish schools, Vesala student
At Vesala Comprehensive School, some lessons are designed to integrate concepts from various subjects. Other skills such as teamwork and problem-solving will equip students for the real world. ST PHOTOS: CALVIN YANG
At Vesala Comprehensive School, some lessons are designed to integrate concepts from various subjects. Other skills such as teamwork and problem-solving will equip students for the real world. Just like every child in Finnish schools, Vesala student
Just like every child in Finnish schools, Vesala students (above) receive a daily hot meal each, including salad and milk. The free school lunch is also an opportunity to teach children about nutrition and good manners.ST PHOTOS: CALVIN YANG
At Omnia, a Finnish vocational college, young people and even working adults learn new skills or update existing ones through adult education courses, among other qualifications. Those taking courses at the institution can be as old as 65. Some of th
At Omnia, a Finnish vocational college, young people and even working adults learn new skills or update existing ones through adult education courses, among other qualifications. Those taking courses at the institution can be as old as 65. Some of the courses include refurbishing old furniture in a construction classroom at Omnia.ST PHOTOS: CALVIN YANG
At Vesala Comprehensive School, some lessons are designed to integrate concepts from various subjects. Other skills such as teamwork and problem-solving will equip students for the real world. Just like every child in Finnish schools, Vesala student
At Omnia, a Finnish vocational college, young people and even working adults learn new skills or update existing ones through adult education courses, among other qualifications. Those taking courses at the institution can be as old as 65. Some of the courses include refurbishing old furniture in a construction classroom (above) at Omnia.ST PHOTOS: CALVIN YANG

Lifelong learning is one of the buzzwords when talking about Singapore's future, with the Government being proactive with efforts to get people to embrace this culture. If Singaporeans do not adapt, the mismatch between jobs and skills will widen. In Finland, lifelong learning is fast becoming a way of life. Schools start kids young by nurturing their curiosity for learning while companies encourage - and even incentivise - their workers to upgrade their skills. Calvin Yang reports from Helsinki.

She has a doctoral degree in public health, but senior researcher Katja Borodulin still finds time to attend courses and learn new skills. 

The 46-year-old, who works at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, is now pursuing a specialist diploma in management. Her employer encourages her to do so, even allowing her days off work and paying her full salary during her time away. 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2018, with the headline 'Lifelong learning is a big thing for Finns'. Print Edition | Subscribe