Signe, a 21-year-old skilled worker, has been a vital part of the Logistics HUB department at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace for over eighteen months. Despite her youth, she is well known within the company. Her journey began at the age of 17 when she entered the doors as an apprentice. With a strong sense of ambition, drive, and an eagerness to learn, she quickly made her mark.

During her four years at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Signe has been given significant responsibilities – as a receiving controller of parts used in the production of F-35 aircraft components, missile production, advanced defence systems with extensive electronics and mechanics, as well as maintenance. This role required her to undergo three months of intensive training and coursework. As a receiving controller, she acts as a company representative, traveling to various suppliers to check components before they are shipped to Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. It’s a role that carries substantial responsibility, not entrusted to just anyone. At only 21 years old, Signe's journey is truly exceptional.

“It's incredibly gratifying to receive this level of trust. I was both excited and nervous during my initial trips, but it quickly became routine. I feel privileged to travel and represent our company. Additionally, it’s rewarding to build relationships with our suppliers,” Signe shares, adding, “It’s a significant responsibility. We need to inspect for any general damage, check the quality of paint and masking, ensure that parts are manufactured correctly, and most importantly, confirm that they meet our delivery standards,” she says.

The Logistics HUB

The Logistics HUB department supports all divisions establishing production at 'Arsenalet' industrial park.

The department's mission is to function as a central receiving hub for all goods delivered to Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace at Arsenalet, ensuring accurate registration, storage, and timely delivery to the appropriate users.  

– It was a given to find a position for her

K-tech was founded in 2008 when TechnipFMC, GKN Aerospace, and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace collaborated to establish an education center aimed at providing world-class training for skilled workers. It was precisely K-tech that paved the way for Signe to join Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace back in 2020.

With a high school specialisation in sales auditing, Signe initially sought a position in office and administration at K-tech. However, an attentive teacher noticed her potential and suggested that logistics might be a better fit for her skills and qualifications. Following this advice, she received a call from her current boss, Rune Midtbøen, the Department Manager of Logistics HUB at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

"Right from the start, she grew with the tasks. Coming in as a 17-year-old, being thrown into it, and acquiring knowledge so quickly is nothing short of impressive. She is an outstanding addition to the department, and after completing her apprenticeship, it was a given that we would find a position for her," explains Rune.

Takes challenges in stride

The logistics department contains of four workstations: Goods receipt, Receipt inspection, Stocking and picking for production, Packing and shipments. During her apprenticeship, Signe prioritized spending a long time at each workstation, which is the key to the expertise she possesses today.

“My approach has been to understand it thoroughly, not just to learn it superficially. I noticed that this effort paid off when it came time to take the certification exam,” Signe says.

And the effort has been profitable in many ways. Both through the heavy responsibility she has been given, and the resource she has become. Her manager, Rune, has nothing but praise for the young, versatile skilled worker.

"Everything we assign to her, she manages effortlessly," Rune explains. "She's young and adaptable, ready to step in wherever needed at a moment's notice. It's invaluable that Signe possesses the skills required to work across various workstations."

Increasing demand for skilled workers

When Signe joined the department, it consisted of 14 people. Today, the number has risen to 30, and by the year's end, it is expected to reach 40. With an increase of 115% in just four years, it's an understatement to say that there is a growing demand for skilled workers. Rune, who is meticulous in his work, dedicates much of his time recruiting new colleagues.

"The department is diverse, with a range of backgrounds, personalities, and ages, and this diversity is our strength," says Rune.

From the beginning, Signe felt the positive atmosphere within the department.

"I was allowed the time I needed at each station to acquire the necessary knowledge before my certification exam. With the support of all my colleagues, who were eager for me to excel, I felt well-prepared,” she says.

“Signe quickly gained several mentors who looked out for her,” Rune adds. Not because she needed it but introducing a 17-year-old into an industrial environment naturally leads to that kind of support.”

Already in middle school, Signe knew that a career as a skilled worker was the right path for her. She was attracted to the prospect of engaging in physical work alongside administrative tasks. She speaks highly of K-tech and the opportunities it has afforded her.

"It's fantastic that such excellent educational opportunities exist for those who prefer not to pursue an academic route. For those of us who need and want to stay physically active throughout the day, these options are invaluable," she comments, adding, "I'm thankful to have secured a position at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace – a secure workplace with a vital mission to society. I am proud of where I work and the job I do.