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The bustle of the Taitaja games has left Ouluhalli Print E-mail
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Taitaja 2010 Press release                    30.4.2010

The bustle of the Taitaja games has left Ouluhalli

The Taitaja 2010 games ended yesterday. Organizers stated that the games were a success.

The Taitaja games ended at noon yesterday. The demolition began immediately in Ouluhalli, because the arena has to handed over today at 6 pm.

On Thursday it only took a few hours for tens of demolition workers to take down the competition kitchens, beauty salons and computer networks that had been built only a week earlier. On Friday at noon the empty arena was being cleaned.

“Demolition is going really well. We haven’t had any problems,” stated Marsa Jurvakainen, the Communications Manager of Taitaja 2010.

During the competition, Project Manager Sauli Jaara was convinced that the demolition will be a Finnish record of its own. There are 20 kilometres of electric cables, over two kilometres of water and sewage pipes, about three kilometres of IT cable and over a kilometre of fences to take down.

“Taking down the competition arenas in 24 hours is a challenge, but we’re right on schedule,” Jaara comments.

A great project

According to the competition organizers the Taitaja 2010 games were a successful event.

“Our main priority was that the categories and competition go well. We succeeded in this as well as keeping to our schedule,” says Jurvakainen.

At Thursday’s Press Conference Project Manager Jaara said some problems had come up during the competition but they were all solved quickly.

“I’ve always said that when a bird first takes off on its wings, it will fall down before it learns to fly. But the bird survives the falls,” Jaara commented poetically.

First time competitor is chosen as the Best of the Nation

“Jag vann en bil!” (I won a car!) Shouted Mette Pökelmann, who was chosen as the Best of the Nation 2010, when she saw her coach after receiving her award.

Pökelmann represented Axxell College in the horse grooming category. This was her first time competing in the Taitaja games.

“This was an excellent experience, although I was slightly nervous. I learned a lot during the competition. We had great team spirit among the competitors in the horse grooming category. All in all I think the games in Oulu went really well, the bilingualism of the games worked as well,” assessed Pökelmann, whose native tongue is Swedish.

Pökelmann is originally from Raasepori but attends Axxell in Kemiö. She said she didn’t have a lot of spare time to train for the competition.

“Mette is really good at horse grooming so there was no need to practice especially for the competition. This victory feels really great and I’m so proud of my girl,” beamed Jennie Westerlund, Pökelmann’s coach.

Pökelmann has spent time with horses since she was nine years old. Choosing horse grooming as a vocational path came naturally and now she was rewarded for following her emotions.

“The competition was extremely tight and it was unbelievable to win the gold medal. To win the Best of the Nation on top of that just feels amazing,” Pökelmann said excitedly.
Mette Pökelmann is the Best of the Nation 2010 Print E-mail
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Taitaja 2010 Press release                   29.4.2010

Mette Pökelmann is the Best of the Nation 2010

This year’s Best of the Nation competitor respects vocational schooling and understands the importance of education. The Taitaja 2010 Championships in Oulu gathered a total amount of 51 000 visitors.

The Taitaja 2010 games ended after three days of competition on Thursday at the Closing Ceremony. The high point of the Ceremonies was the announcement of this year’s Best of the Nation. Mette Pökelmann from Axxell College in Raasepori was chosen by the jury as this year’s undeniably best competitor of her category. Pökelmann competed in horse grooming.

The jury stated the following reasons for their choice: “The competitor has displayed excellent skills in the category during the three competition days. She is positive and happy and has excellent social skills. During the competition she has been very friendly and considerate towards other competitors and staff. She is clearly proud and respectful of her own vocational field. She is energetic, outgoing and possesses strong language skills. The Best of the Nation is an excellent representative of vocational education and a great roled model to other young people. She understands the significance of education for all ages.”

Mette Pökelmann will act as a representative for vocational education for the next year. The Best of the Nation will receive a brand new Volkswagen Golf to use for a year. At the Closing Ceremony Timo Lankinen, the Chairman of the Skills Finland Board and Director General of The Finnish National Board of Education, together with Matti Pörhö, CEO of Pörhön autoliike, awarded the car keys to the winner.

“When I arrived in Oulu on Monday by plane, I didn’t think for one moment that on Thursday the competition would end like this. It’s been really great competing here,” said Mette Pökelmann after she was presented with the car keys.

Onward to the EuroSkills

Finland’s EuroSkills 2010 team was revealed at the Closing Ceremony of the Oulu Taitaja games. The EuroSkills competition takes place in December in Lisbon, Portugal. The full list of the members of the team can be found at

The members of the team have been selected to represent Finland through training and qualifying competitions. In the future months the competitors will participate in team training camps to enhance team spirit and practice their own categories with their experts.

The Taitaja Cup moves to Kuopio

The Oulu Taitaja games were a huge success. During the three competition days 51 000 people visited Ouluhalli to admire the skills of young vocational competitors. At the Closing Ceremony the hosting of the games was presented to the next city.

Oulu’s Taitaja year ended traditionally as the Taitaja Cup was handed over to the next competition city, Kuopio. Kuopio will host the Taitaja games on 3-5 May 2011. The games are expecting 40 000 spectators.

At the Closing Ceremony Project Manager Sauli Jaara thanked everyone involved in organizing the Oulu Taitaja games and he especially thanked all the competitors. Jaara handed over the Taitaja Cup to Kuopio Taitaja games’ Project Manager Ilkka T. Kemppainen.

“A year ago when I was in Ilkka’s shoes, I thought, no problem, we’ve got a year to put together these games. But the year went by fast. This Taitaja Cup obligates you to succeed in organizing the games and I am confident that Kuopio will do exactly that,” Jaara said as he handed over the Cup.

Kemppainen thanked the Oulu Taitaja games and said that he’s feeling pretty good although the weight is starting to gather on his shoulders.

“I think now is the perfect time to stop saying what we in the Kuopio Taitaja team have been saying “Let’s get back to that after Oulu” because now is the time to turn all eyes towards Kuopio. See you there!”

If you’ve got Skills, get up and move! Print E-mail
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TAITAJA 2010 PRESS RELEASE                           28th Apr 2010

The Taitaja games are not held only for the joy of competing. Students strive to improve their skills for the future when they will be working fulltime. Partner companies of the Taitaja games may offer jobs to the most skilled competitors.

Get up and move! That’s what the team from Pohjois-Karjala vocational college participating in the entrepreneurship category suggests everyone should do. After the first competition day at the Taitaja games the team from Pohjois-Karjala are in the lead. As part of the competition they have brainstormed a sports centre named Get Up & Go!

During the second competition day the future entrepreneurs have formulated a business plan for their company. Entrepreneurship is officially a competition category for the first time this year. It has been a demonstration category during the past few years.

The entrepreneurship competition will culminate on the last competition day. The final event will take place at the NRJ Arena at 10:30 am. All entrepreneurship teams will present their companies to the audience.

The second competition day gathered over 24 000 visitors. During the first two days of the games the total number of spectators surpasses 40 000. The aim is to have 50 000 visitors during the three days of competition and this aim will surely be filled.

Attentive recruiters

The corporate world is keen to employ skilled vocational students. Corporate partners of the Taitaja games do their best to recruit the best competitors. In addition to possibly winning the Finnish Championship, competitors may have a chance of receiving a job at a company of their own industry.

“We want the best people working for us,” says Tuija Kämä, the Service Manager of ISS Oulu-Kainuu area.

ISS is one of the main corporate partners at the Taitaja games for the third year running. ISS has promised that the Finnish Champions in their co-operation categories will receive a summer job from ISS.

This is the first year that ISS is a corporate partner in the TaitajaPLUS competition. TaitajaPLUS is a vocational skills event organized for students with special needs.

“Co-operation with TaitajaPLUS comes naturally for us. We can offer various types of tasks for our employees and take into consideration their special needs,” says Kämä.

Sitting in class as an adult

The Taitaja event spread out to Oulu’s Rotuaari walking street on Wednesday. At the OpinTori event experts in adult education gave information and encouragement to adults who were thinking about returning to class.

Kai Latvalehto, the career counseling instructor from Oulu adult education centre, reminds that many people can’t cope with just one degree these days. Latvalehto sees self-directing as the trend these days in studying.

“Adults aren’t as quick to learn as young people, but adults are persistent and very motivated. These are important characteristics in learning. Adults also have life experience unlike youths. Through one’s strengths everyone can find their own profession,” Latvalehto says.

The results of the first competition day can be found at

Articles and photos from the Taitaja games are available for use at
Team Senni ja pojat was victorious in the Taitaja9 competition Print E-mail
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The first competition day at the Taitaja 2010 Championships gathered over 16 000 visitors. The stars of the day were the 9th grade competitors in the Taitaja9 competition. The members of the winning team were all awarded with a brand new scooter.

Taitaja9 is a craftsmanship competition for 9th graders of upper comprehensive schools. The victorious team was Team Senni ja pojat from Lieto comprehensive school. The team members were Senni Kurki, Joni Aaltola and Jesse Junnila. All three received a brand new scooter.

Team Lumijoki from Lumijoki comprehensive school placed second and Team Pohet from Tampere city’s Pohjois-Hervanta comprehensive school placed third in the competition. The games were hosted by NRJ radio’s Aamupojat.

To reach the day’s final competition teams had to qualify in local and regional competitions. Three teams spoke about their feelings before the games began.

“Well, we are a bit nervous,” admitted Team Muumit from Masku.

The teams said the competition hasn’t affected their own career paths. But the competition has developed their concentration and team working skills.

“During the competition you have to concentrate on what you’re doing and shut everything else outside. At the same time you have to pay attention to what your other two team members are doing,” described Jessica Nylund from Team Muumit.

Bettering one’s self isn’t the main motivator to participate in the games.

“The chance of winning a scooter is what got me involved,” laughed Marko Immonen of Kajaani’s Team Lyseotiimi A.

Practising for Lisbon EuroSkills

One of the themes at this year’s Taitaja games is internationality. Taking part in the competition are 19 foreign competitors.

Foreign competitors are participating in 13 different categories. They do the same tasks as the Finnish competitors, but their accomplishments are not noted in the medal placements.

Dutch caring students Sander Mantel and Renske Luntz are competing in Oulu. Their expert Kees Pols is accompanying them. Although the team won’t be receiving medals, they are enthusiastic about participating in the games.

“This is a great opportunity to make international friends and to prepare for the Lisbon EuroSkills competition,” said Mantel.

“Caring as an event is very different in Finland than in the Netherlands. Here the competition takes place in teams of two when in the Netherlands we compete individually. In Oulu we have a great opportunity to practice our team working skills,” adds Luntz.

Oulu becomes crowded

The Taitaja 2010 games have crowded the area around Ouluhalli as well as some of the streets of Oulu today. A total of 16 200 spectators visited the competition during the first competition day.

Taitaja 2010 Communication Manager Marsa Jurvakainen advises visitors to leave their cars home and arrive at the Ouluhalli arena by public transport or by walking. The distance from the centre of Oulu to the Ouluhalli arena is about one kilometer. The walking route is marked from the Oulu City Hall all the way to the arena.

There is no parking for visitors around the Ouluhalli. A car park has been arranged for visitors in the Kaukovainio area, address Kotkantie 1-2. There is a free bus transport traveling back and forth between the car park and Ouluhalli. Buses will leave visitors near the Raksila baseball stadium. There are also several local bus lines operate from the city centre to Ouluhalli.

Tehtaankatu, Ratakatu and Teuvo Pakkalan katu are constantly filled with hundreds of buses transporting students. Visitors are advised to avoid the area.

The results of the first competition day can be found at

Articles and photos from the Taitaja games are available for use at
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