First Industry Safari for University College students
Herøya Industrial Park was host for Grenland’s first industry safari for university college students this week. ”The host function and cooperation with different environments is important and we hope that more industry clusters will arrange safaris,” says communiations manager, Åse Himle.
”We are really pleased that Herøya Industrial Park hosted the first industry safari,” said Torstein Haugland (left), who is in charge of student cooperation in Porsgrunn Municipality, seen here with Arne Øygard from Yara and Åse Himle from HiP. Geir Moe from Bilfinger, was not present when the photograph was taken
Thirty students taking courses at bachelor, master and PhD level in technology subjects at Telemark University College and three trainee candidates from Trainee Telemark met representatives from HiP management, Yara and Bilfinger.
During the afternoon they heard about current projects and job opportunities at the companies and had a guided tour of the plants. The literal ’high point’ was a windy visit to the roof of Fullgjødselfabrikk 4, which, at 108 meters, is one of Norway’s highest industrial buildings.
Developing host function
The industry safari is part of a wider initiative in which Porsgrunn, Skien and Bamble municipalities, Vekst I Grenland, Telemark University College and Trainee Telemark work together to develop effective hosting for university college students and trainees in the region.
Good career start: Alina Olsen (left) is pleased with being able to begin her career with a six-month training course at Herøya Industrial Park AS. Now she will continue at two other companies. Seen here with trainees Helene Norli Kamilla Lund Abrahamsen and Jan Inge Galtung Nielsen, manager of Trainee Telemark.
The idea was based on a report by Econ Pöyrys/KS on the host function of university campuses, where there can be great rewards in relation to (1) Innovation and industry development, (2) employee and competence development and (3) local social and cultural development.
Combining industry with students
The industry safaris are a way of getting to know Grenland better and are something the partners would like to develop further.
”We have been working for a long time to get industry to work closer with the students from the university college and we are very happy that Herøya Industrial Park agreed to be host for the first safari,” said Torstein Haugland, who is in charge of student cooperation at Porsgrunn Municipality. ”The offer is open to all but we have experienced the greatest demand from international students,” he added.
Looking for jobs
Around 25o students from 20 nationalities who are currently members of the ISU (International Student Union) are working with the municipalities to become more involved in local industries by becoming more visible, learning Norwegian and developing meeting places.
”It is really good to hear that there are job and project opportunities in Yara and Bilfinger,” said an optimistic Prabin Khakurei, leader of ISU Telemark and a masters student in system engineering (far right of photo). ”In addition to work, learning Norwegian is also important for us,” he added.
”We are very satisfied with the Industrial Park’s initiative, which means that we now have contacts in industry and we are also pleased with our cooperation with the municipality,” Khakurei concluded.