Thank you K-Tech!

Andreas is a committed supporter of two teams dressed in red – the apprentice company K-tech and the football club Liverpool. Besides the colour, it is the unity that stands out. Neither lets anyone walk alone – and for that, the 25-year-old will always be grateful.

As a skilled worker within electromechanical assembly at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) with a certificate of apprenticeship as an industrial assembler obtained through K-Tech, Andreas has been educated at one of Norway’s best schools for skilled workers in his field.

Andreas chose Technology and industrial subjects (TIF) in his first year at Secondary School and Industrial Technology in his second year. Thereafter it was off to an apprenticeship through K-Tech.

K-Tech – a story of success

K-Tech’s aim is to educate the Norway's best skilled workers. And they succeed. An apprenticeship through K-Tech is attractive among Norwegian students throughout the country. This year alone, K-Tech will welcome as many as 65 new apprentices, and words of praise about the company comes from several different quarters.

The city of Kongsberg is known for its close and good collaboration between business and academia, and an essential link between the two is K-Tech. Founded and owned by the city's three largest technology companies, the education and training offered at the education centre is continuously developed according to the needs of the technology companies, and most of the apprentices are offered a full time job after completing their apprenticeship.

But for Andreas it was different. Six months before he completed his apprenticeship, the company he worked for went bankrupt as a result of the oil crisis in 2016. Luckily, K-Tech came to his assistance.

He got a new apprenticeship at Kongsberg Protech Systems (KPS), which is now the Land Systems division of KONGSBERG. After completing his certificate of apprenticeship, Andreas chose to continue at school for two more years and he secured himself an education in Mechanical Engineering from the Vocational College in order to have more career- and job-options.

With a couple of years' work experience from a local company in his hometown Notodden, he applied for a position at KONGSBERG – a position he still holds today.

“You must be motivated, interested, open and willing to learn,” states Andreas. “You must be persistent and willing to do what it takes to get the product finished by the deadline. You must also be open to the fact that you can always improve.”

His job is to install Remote Tower Systems (RTS) - equipment used for remote control of control towers and airports. Remote control of air traffic is done by using advanced sensor technology and a 360-degree camera, and is currently used at multiple airports in Norway. The tower service is controlled from a control centre in Bodø, located in northern Norway, where they can control up to 15 airports at the same time. The system is cost-saving and provides a better situational understanding and awareness which in turn increases aviation safety.

Although Andreas only has six months’ experience with KONGSBERG he enjoys both tasks and colleagues. But the learning curve is steep with many delivery-deadlines that needs to be met. The electronics-part of his job is also a relatively new field for Andreas - who has mainly worked with mechanical assembly in the past. Even though he works with a group of people, they work mostly alone when screwing and mounting the modules for the remote towers. That’s why it’s good to have colleagues close by who he can ask for help and advice when he is stuck or needs assistance.

He enjoys the fact that the whole department are eating lunch together – regardless of position or title. Planners, engineers, skilled workers and managers – a flat structure and an informal tone makes it easier to be “the new guy”.

Andreas says that he enjoys working with people, and is occasionally given responsibility for school pupils who come to the department for work practice.

“When my manager needs assistance handling the newcomers, my task is to welcome the pupils, show them around and help them getting started. I see that as a declaration of trust, and is a responsibility which I really like,” he says.

Andreas would strongly recommend KONGSBERG and K-Tech to others who are considering taking an industrial certificate of apprenticeship. Not least because of the close follow-up along the way, the facilitation and the security of knowing that you never walk alone.