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Need good skilled workers for exciting projects in the industry

seven apprentices stand outside the factory area wearing red trousers and yellow sweaters, white helmets.

APPRENTICES: Jonathan Thorsen Kjærra, chemistry process subject; Imre Marioth Synnes Lindtveit, laboratory subject; Albert Grunnsund, chemistry process subject; Emilee Maxine Walle-Bråthen, Chemical Processing; Adrian Andersen, logistics subject; Nicolai Klokseth, automation subject and Fergus Knutsen, chemistry process subject. Photo: Ole Bjørn Ulsnæs/Herøya Industripark AS

The industry in Grenland is undergoing a generational change. At the same time, several large industrial projects are underway in the area. Skilled workers are in demand, and this will be the case for several years to come.

INOVYN takes on approximately 12 apprentices each year in six different disciplines: the automation subject, the electrician subject, the industrial mechanic subject, the chemical process subject, the laboratory subject and the logistics subject. Half of them receive the training in INOVYN's factories at Rafnes and the other half in the PVC factory in Herøya Industrial Park.

Placement at INOVYN

"We have not had any problems finding skilled apprentices," says training manager at INOVYN Thomas Andersen.

In the last year at school, the students set up three wishes for placement companies. INOVYN was high on the list of students who have received an apprenticeship in the company.

Portrait of man wearing helmet red jacket and yellow sweater, industrial background

Thomas H. Andersen, responsible for training at INOVYN.

"We have got the apprentices we need and are very happy with the placement scheme. They are with us for two 14-day periods. In that time we get to know the students, and they get to know us and the company."

Straight to work

The apprentices agree that they have chosen an education for an industrial trade certificate because they get to practice their subject and have a salary during the training.

"My grandfather was a process operator, and he talked a lot about the job," Emilee Maxine Walle-Bråthen answers when asked why she chose an education in the process subject.

"I applied for an apprenticeship at INOVYN after I had been here on a placement," says Albert Grunnsund. "During that time I got to know the place, and I enjoyed being with the company."

"It is a very good working environment here," Fergus Knutsen supports. "I know several others who work here. They thrive here, so it was easy for me to apply for INOVYN."

Fergus chose process subjects because he thinks the work is exciting. He got a good impression of the job during the placement weeks. "There is a lot to learn, and it is fun and interesting to learn and understand the process, and to see the products that are produced here."

Great need for skilled workers

"The future prospects for skilled workers are good," Andersen emphasizes. "INOVYN is in a generational change. This applies to many companies here in Grenland. In addition, there are many exciting projects underway in our area, so there are good job prospects for students who are investing in a vocational education and a trade certificate. The industry needs competence, so skilled workers are attractive in the job market."

seven apprentices out in Inovyn's industrial area

Apprentices: Jonathan Thorsen Kjærra, Imre Marioth Synnes Lindtveit, Albert Grunnsund, Emilee Maxine Walle-Bråthen, Adrian Andersen,  Nicolai Klokseth og Fergus Knutsen.

Norway lacks 70,000 skilled workers until 2035

According to Statistics Norway, we will lack more than 70,000 skilled workers in 2035. This means that those who choose vocational subjects are guaranteed a job.

Norwegian industrial companies could easily accept 500 more apprentices each year. The problem is that they do not exist. This emerges from a survey carried out by Norsk Industri (The Federation of Norwegian Industries).

"This shortage of apprentices is not sustainable. Our survey gives reason to make a thorough warning, on behalf of the industry, the districts, the environment and thousands of young people," says CEO Stein Lier-Hansen of Norsk Industri, to Dagbladet.

Read more, open article, Norwegian only:

Industrial technology, chemical process or laboratory subject

A great number of industrial companies need more qualified skilled workers. Young people who have completed two years of upper secondary vocational subject with industrial technology or chemical process and the laboratory subject will in practice be guaranteed an apprenticeship with a view to a trade certificate and permanent job after two years.

Norsk Industri's survey carried out at the training offices around the country reveals that there are 25 classes missing in these two subjects - based on the need that the companies themselves report.

portrait of man in black suit outdoors

CEO Stein Lier-Hansen, Federation of Norwegian Industries. Foto: Kristian Hansen/Norsk Industri

"We know that the industry holds the key to the green shift. So we need far more young people who are interested in technology and who have a practical sense. If they choose a career in the industry, they will also be able to do something good for the environment, not just talk about it," says Lier-Hansen to Børsen.

NHOs Competence Barometer

The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise's report, NHO's Competence Barometer for 2020 concludes that 6 out of 10 companies state that they have an unmet need for competence. In the vast majority of cases, this means that there are jobs to be had, if you have the skills needed. The problem, however, is that there are not enough people who choose to educate themselves in exactly those areas.

So if you choose a vocational education in crafts, technical subjects and engineering subjects, you can choose and reject job offers, as it looks now. It is the safest way to a job, and vocational training and skilled workers are worth their weight in gold, NHO states.

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