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Harvester Driver Training in Russia (Interreg)
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The shared general goal of the Harvester Driver Training in Russia joint project was to improve the operational environment in the forest industry through training. The specific goal of the Interreg part of the joint project was to develop a short-term harvester driver course for Russians at Valtimo North Karelia College, in order to meet the rapidly increasing demand. In addition, the export of Finnish forest harvester machines would be promoted by improving the harvester drivers’ abilities to utilise new technologies. The goal of the Tacis part was to establish a foundation for creating harvester driver training in the Republic of Karelia. The training would be offered independently using local resources.

Main activities

• Exploring the educational material intended for Finnish and Russian target groups by Valtimo North Karelia College, assessing its suitability for a short-term course for Russian target group • Assessing the content of the short-term course currently in use by Russian harvester drivers, making necessary changes, and producing a short description of the education plan and its teaching methods in both Finnish and Russian, • Production of new educational material in Russian for the new training programme, translating applicable Valtimo North Karelia College materials into Russian, producing material in electronic format, • Conducting a current situational analysis for Petrozavodsk Forest Teknikum and Uchebnyi Centre, analysing the need for harvester driver training and its content at wood harvesting companies in the Republic of Karelia. • Presenting the strategy for developing the harvester driver training at Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School to the stakeholders, • Testing of the developed learning material and training programme using a two-week contact learning period at Valtimo North Karelia College, • Acquirement of computers for both Russian partner institutions for learning purposes, purchase of a harvester simulator and a pre-owned harvester for the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School, • Implementing the Russian pilot period for forest harvester driver training.


The essential goal of the pilot training course was to train Russian instructors for the needs of the Republic of Karelia. Harvester driver training expertise from Valtimo North Karelia College was also transferred to Shuisko-Vidanskaja during the planning phase of the Russian educational programme. Based on the feedback from the pilot period, Valtimo North Karelia College is planning on developing its training programme into a module structure product. It will then be easier to customise the course to meet the needs of each customer and the expertise level of the students. The Russian pilot period for forest harvester driver training was implemented in cooperation with the instructors from John Deere Forestry Oy, at the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School during the spring of 2007. Official forest harvester driver training in the Republic of Karelia was started in the autumn of the same year. Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School has already organised five three-month training periods, which have had an approximate total of 50 participants. The feedback, gathered at the conclusion of the training, is used for continuous development of the training programme with regard to its content, teaching methods, and sufficiency of the number of classes. A new part of the training includes a practice job using the harvester simulator, which improves the students’ ability to operate a harvester in practice. The project had significant impact on developing the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School; new training programme, machines and equipment acquired for learning purposes, improved learning environment, and direct contacts with local wood harvesting companies and the employment agency ensure that harvester driver training will be continued at the school after the project’s conclusion. Valtimo North Karelia College also benefited from the project. It received valuable experience and expertise by developing the training programme. This improved both the college’s competitiveness as a training provider and its ability to attract students, both domestic and international.

Basic information



2006-04-01 - 2007-03-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

59 849 € / 41 894 €

Lead partner

Valtimo Municipality
Lead partner web-site


Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School
Educational Centre
John Deere Forestry Oy
Ponsse Oyj