Boliden receives EU funding for competence development and knowledge of change
Boliden Rönnskär has applied for and received funding from the Fair Transition Fund (FRO). The money is to be used for broad training initiatives so that we can meet the new demands placed on working methods, roles and skills in the change in operations that is now taking place through Moderna Rönnskär.
The background is that Sweden must achieve climate neutrality and thereby the industry is affected by costs for investments with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions.
In September last year, Boliden Rönnskär submitted an application for funds to be able to make a broad and deep investment in competence development to meet the new demands placed on working methods, roles and competences when processes and operations change to maintain productivity. The initiatives are planned as an integrated part of the Modern Rönnskär Program and provide in-depth opportunities to meet the needs identified there. By submitting the application, the activities in the first sub-project KHUL (Competence, Sustainable development, learning) could start.
A broad investment in knowledge of change kicks off the development project, it will be an important prerequisite for the business to develop, make use of driving force and achieve effects. During the fall of 2022, a skills inventory was also started, while the new roles in production are clarified with expectations, responsibilities and skills profile. This then provides a prerequisite for making development plans for the employees concerned. After that, individually adapted competence development can take place against the new conditions that Moderna Rönnskär and the restructuring of the business entail. A continuous dialogue with representatives from the trade unions at Rönnskär has been ongoing throughout the autumn, where advantages and challenges have been highlighted for clarification. The work has been carried out in a positive and constructive spirit, where many good suggestions for improvement have been made.
Until December 31, 2025, Boliden Rönnskär has been granted a total of just over SEK 34 million, of which 50% (just over SEK 17 million) is co-financed by Rönnskär.
"With this money, we can meet each employee's needs and desire for skills development, so that together we can take responsibility for the change that will take place in the business over the next ten years," says Eva Lindberg, project manager for the skills development project.
Linn Andersson, Rönnskärs general manager, adds: "We need our employees' knowledge and commitment in a changed production environment. New ways of working, automation and digitalisation, partially changed areas of responsibility will provide great opportunities for development and we want our employees on that journey."
KHUL (Competence, Sustainable Development and Learning) will also use the opportunities for workplace-based competence development through learning platforms, digital support and personal coaching. The external money also provides the conditions to create exciting and new forms of learning. Among other things, we intend to proceed with the development of simulation environments and use parts of the EU money for this.
"By building up production environments in a 'fictitious twin, in the computer' and developing simulations for e.g. traversing remotely, our employees can train and test new work steps in a safe environment, says Markus Brännström, section manager for Automation and digitalisation."
Background - EU fund to reduce the effects of climate change
The Fund for a Just Transition (FRO) has been adopted by the EU Commission and Sweden will receive 155.7 million euros in EU grants to support the effort to achieve climate neutrality by 2045 and to reduce the effects of the climate transition. The support from FRO will help the Swedish industrial companies to switch to climate neutrality, while preserving competitiveness and maintaining the economy and employment in Norrbotten, Västerbotten and on Gotland.
Since industrial emissions account for 32% of Sweden's total greenhouse gas emissions, the transformation of the steel, mineral and metal industry, which is behind a large part of greenhouse gas emissions, will have an important socio-economic impact. The Just Transition Fund contributes to reducing this impact by investing in research and innovation and in the retraining and upskilling of workers. Through the adoption of the FRO, the European Commission wants to help Sweden reduce emissions while protecting the local population from the negative effects on the economy and society.
Support for the metal industry in Västerbotten
Of these funds, the Metal Industry in Västerbotten (Boliden Rönnskär and partly the associated subcontractor environment) receives EUR 24 million excluding co-financing (50%). A first announcement as part of this money is the possibility to apply for EUR 2 million for competence-enhancing initiatives. In addition, there will be an additional call for proposals for the same area in the future and the opportunity to apply for approximately EUR 14 million excluding 50% co-financing for investments for reduced CO2 emissions.