Meet a recruiter

Last year, Kvaerner’s yards in Verdal and Stord took in a record 69 apprentices. They will work in a variety of trades and will finish their “course” by the middle of 2014.

Anne Støfringshaug, VerdalAt Verdal, Anne Støfringshaug has worked with Kvaerner’s apprentice program since 1983. She explains that last year it was especially hard to decide which applicants should be offered an apprenticeship. – We had planned to hire 25, but we interviewed 50 and ended up offering most of them a contract, she says.

The recruitment days at Verdal and Stord are well prepared and involve lots of people and disciplines. In addition to one-on-one-interviews, candidates are given a presentation of the company and a tour of the vast yard area.

When Støfringshaug and her colleagues decide on whom to offer a contract, the first thing they look at is absence.

– Our experience is that applicants with a lot of absence from school, tend to be absent from work as well. We also demand good marks for orderliness and behaviour and that applicants have passed all their subjects at school, says Støfringshaug.

Mostly males

Most apprentices are boys.

- We could absolutely go for more girls, and the recruitment teams are especially on the lookout for girls every year, says Støfringshaug. - More girls were given contract offers this year, but uncertainty about shift work, wishes of starting a family, and that many of the jobs are physically demanding, made them decline the offer.

To have apprentices, requires a lot from the organization. Good planning and great commitment from management is absolutely necessary. All applicants start with a two-weeks’ course in June. Following four weeks of vacation, they start up again full time by early August.

Positive feedback

– It is good for the working environment to add new blood, says Støfringshaug. Most apprentices are aged 17 to 19. They come from different corners of the country and many of them now have their first experiences with life in apartments.

- I sometimes get phone calls and text messages at night, when questions can be numerous and it is important to be able to provide good advice. The pleasure is usually on my side, says Støfringshaug.

International focus

There are many explanations to why Kvaerner is popular for apprenticeships.One important aspect is an ambition to work “world wide”. Earlier, some apprentices have completed parts of their apprenticeships in other parts of the country, and some also internationally. All applicants are also informed about the possibilities within a large company such as Kvaerner.

Støfringshaug thrives on working with – and for – the apprentices. – These are some of my finest responsibilities, she says, pointing out that also older employees appreciate the young apprentices.

– Our apprentices actually want something, and they are an asset that we want to take good care of. They represent after all our very future, says Støfringshaug.