With the award, AOF Vestlandet - Agder will now be able to offer training within the industry and construction industry, the waste and recycling industry and the maritime sector's industry programs from the autumn onwards. The funds are earmarked for both practice candidate training for adults who will take a vocational certificate, and shorter vocational courses.

- We are proud to be awarded funds for a variety of different course offerings in the three industry programmes, together with local businesses. It is particularly pleasing that Beerenberg Services AS, as a significant player in the industry with headquarters in Bergen, was one of our partners who received an award, says department head for courses and competence Inger Johanne Bligaard in AOF Vestlandet - Agder. We started the collaboration with Beerenberg Services AS in the autumn of 2022. This is a long-term collaboration on skills development for their employees and now we have achieved this together.

For Beerenberg, competence development and professional certificates are an important part of the strategy. Against the background of the lack of access to skilled workers in the industry, the company is investing heavily in trainee candidates and has the ambition to build these up to become skilled and proud skilled workers. In the work to find more routes to professional certificates, a decision on Norwegian training was taken and planned for 2022 with commencement in 2023.

- Our goal is that employees with a mother tongue other than Norwegian should be able to formalize their many years of expertise through professional certificates. Language training will prepare them to be able to complete theory courses, exams and professional tests in Norwegian, says executive director for business support Gro Hatleskog in Beerenberg.

About tripartite industry programme

The tripartite industry program is one of several measures the government has implemented as part of the skills reform "learning for life". The aim of the scheme is to give selected industries better access to relevant expertise and to ensure that these industries are better equipped to undergo various adjustment processes.

AOF Vestlandet - Agder has, since the industry programs became part of the skills reform in 2020, provided training in 6-7 of the existing industry programs at any given time. We have a close collaboration with both small and large players in both the public and private sector, with whom we work together to offer competence-enhancing measures to their employees.

What characterizes the training offers in the industry programs is high flexibility and that the training is designed for adults in the learning situation.

Focus on professional certificates

The largest share of funds has gone to provide training to adult trainee candidates who wish to take a vocational certificate in a profession they have experience from. The participants who take part in such courses receive training in the theoretical part of their subject, and together with documented practice in the subject, they can apply to sit a practical subject or apprentice test. Something that is repeated in all the industries we have been in dialogue with is a great need for more skilled workers with formal competence in the form of professional certificates. Formalizing the skills of unskilled workers is therefore a very important investment in the future for the industries in the tripartite industry programme.

For Marcin Marciszak (31), this provides a good opportunity for further development within the scaffolding profession.

- The most important thing for me is to be able to develop myself. I am now preparing to take the trade certificate for scaffolding, and hope to be able to work with scaffolding projects both onshore and offshore. My long-term goal is to become chairman, says Marcin Marciszak.

Marciszak emphasizes that the language barrier is great.

- Even colleagues with many years of work experience have not taken the professional certificate yet because of the language barrier. The theory test is the first step, and then the practical subject test must be completed after a few months, and there the language is at least as important, says Marciszak.

André Simonsen, club leader in the Federation of Beerenberg, is happy that more employees can now formalize their skills.

- It is gratifying that the government's investment in these subjects and skilled workers in Norway is now moving from words to action in this important area. For Beerenberg, which has worked systematically with training over time, this is much-needed funds for further development and formalization of competence in the company, says André Simonsen.

He encourages everyone to check out the AOF and the course offerings they have that can be based on professional certificates.

- The fact that we have now secured an agreement with such a good course provider with a broad and good range of courses is also important when it comes to making arrangements to raise competence in the company in general, says Simonsen.