The Finland Team
finland team

Tanja Halttunen
Expert of international Affairs
Axxell & the project leader

Tanja works as an expert in international affairs and collaboration with the labour market. She began her career at Yrkesinstitutet Sydväst where she worked as the international coordinator in 2006. When Axxell was founded in 2008, she was given the task to develop and set up qualitative international collaborations with VET providers in Europe and beyond. In 2015 her job description was broadened and she became involved in developing work based learning and collaborations with the labour market both nationally and on an international level. in May 2020 she became one of Cedefop’s Ambassadors for tackling early school leaving.

In her spare time, Tanja likes to walk in the forest and spend time with her Jack Russell terrier Molly and her 3 cats Walle, Wilma and Olli. She enjoys baking and cooking and spending time at home when she is not travelling for work.

I am originally a nurse with experience of elderly care, psychiatry and internal medicine. I worked in hospitals for ten years before I began my career as a teacher in 2007. Why did I become a teacher? Well, I wanted to teach all the positive and good aspects there are in being a caregiver to VET students.

To teach how to be a good caregiver is difficult if you don’t have access to real clients and patients. This is why it is so important that VET collaborates with the world of work. 
I believe that collaboration with the labour market is vital. VET@work has shown me that there are many different ways to work with the labour market. We can work together when it comes to developing student skills as well as bringing entire groups of students to a work place. 

I am passionate about working to improve students’ skills and this is why I don’t mind giving something extra to my students. My passion for skills development took me into the Skills Competitions and today I am a competition judge for practical nurses. 

In my spare time, I like to spend time in the archipelago with my family traveling from guest harbour to guest harbour with our boat. I love reading books and I love all kinds of sports. 

finland team

Johanna Lind
Teacher within social and healthcare
(practical nurses) Axxell

finland team

Nina Sevelius
Head of Unit, Axxell Överby

Nina works as head of Axxells horticulture and craft Unit. Nina begun her career as a horticultural researcher at the University of Helsinki. From there she continued 2002 to become a teacher at the Applied University of Sydväst. After some reorganization, she started 2011 to develop the cooperation between the Applied University and Axxells vocational education and from 2014 she has been the head of the horticulture and craft unit at Axxell. 

I see that the cooperation between vet and work is as important for the student as for the working life and vocational teachers.

The student learns many work life skills during an apprenticeship and they often get a port to the first workplace during their education. The teachers get new ideas both for the teaching methods and for developing curriculum. The industry can get new ideas how to develop their business and interested expert workers in the future. In addition, for the student it is very important that they can learn from many different professionals with different views of their industry. It is also important that both the teachers and the professionals work together with the same goal to the increase the student’s vocational skills as well as the professional development of the student.


I represent the municipality of Raseborg and the employer side in the VET@work project. I am a Head of Assisted Living Facilities for elderly in the region and dedicated to providing our residents with the happiest possible life at our homes. It is important for us to be a part of the training process as I believe that the professional nursing skills should be built up on a solid set of values and psychosocial skills.

The workplace culture and attitudes seem to be the key factor for being “a good nurse” and it is far more challenging to coach a person how to be an empathic caregiver than to teach injection techniques.  The view is shared not only by myself and my staff, but also the towns decision-makers, therefore we have a wide approval to work together.

When the project started, I was the head of Villa Anemone, a large service home for elderly citizens with decreased functional abilities and we had a history of creative cooperation with a local VET provider, Axxell. As I believe, the effective leadership largely consists of education and coaching, so I am thankful for the opportunity to have contact with students and share our passion and values with them. It is heartwarming to see how they step by step get familiar with us, get creative and become confident. As time goes by, they start to give more than they receive from us and… suddenly they have a degree!​

In my spare time I study the person-centered care and leadership. I spend a vast amount of time in nature and swimming as well as gundog training are my beloved hobbies.

finland team

Bernadetta Stenström
Head of assisted living facilities for elderly
in Raasepori, the Municipality of Raasepori

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