Apprentices form part of GPV’s DNA

Apprentices constitute a vital ressource to GPV which is strengthened by inputs from outside at the same time as our company contributes to training the labour force of the future. However, young people lack knowledge about educational and training opportunities, and this is why GPV has difficulty in obtaining a sufficient number of apprentices.


Apprentices constitute a vital part of GPV’s DNA, and for many years, both in Tarm and in Aars, young people from the vocational education and training programmes have been an integrated part of our company.

– We gain a lot from having apprentices. It gives us new inputs and adds new approaches to our work when young people join us from the vocational education and training programmes. We also become stronger when we educate and train them, says production manager of GPV’s Electronics plant in Denmark, Torben Ryberg, who is also chairman of the Local Vocational Education and Training Committee in the region of Aalborg, Denmark.


Difficult to recruit apprentices


However, like the rest of Danish industry, GPV faces a challenge in recruiting a sufficient number of apprentices. And this is a problem in an industry where qualified labour does not grow on trees.

– For us, qualified labour is in short supply, and therefore it is important that, going forward, we ourselves can contribute to safeguarding the right competencies by training and educating apprentices, says the HR Consultant in GPV, Nicolaj Ulnits, who on a day-to-day basis is in charge of the employment and recruitment of apprentices.



A serious gap in the food chain


According to Torben Ryberg and Nicolaj Ulnits, there is a serious gap in the food chain to industry.

– In the Danish primary and lower secondary educational schools as well as by the parents, children and young people are indeed trained for and paced to proceeding to upper secondary education, because of the apparent lack of prestige of the vocational education and training programmes. Especially primary and lower secondary education should be much better at providing the pupils with a much more comprehensive presentation of various career opportunities.

Young people lack knowledge of the many different educational and training approaches that are available, as well as of the opportunities for further education and training within the various types of vocational education and training programmes.

Vocational and technical schools should not just be seen as ”parking lots” for young people who are not bookish. These schools must provide career paths on an equal footing with the upper secondary schools, because we do have many exciting and attractive jobs, says Nicolaj Ulnits.



Bottleneck to be discussed


Production manager at GPV in Tarm, Anders Andersen, recently became member of a so-called forecast panel in the local municipality.

The objective of the forecast panel is to discuss the bottlenecks that the shortage of qualified labour presents to the manufacturing industries, and Anders Andersen thinks that the vocational education and training programmes must be included in the panel discussion.

– Several factors in the vocational education and training programmes come into play relative to the bottleneck issues in industry. Aluminium welding might for instance play a more prominent role in the relevant programmes, as this qualification is in immense shortage in the whole industry, says Anders Andersen.


Young people not aware of the opportunities


He also thinks that part of the image problem of the vocational education and training programmes is about finances: – Finances have become an important parameter in the education choice of young people, and here they simply do not know that good career opportunities also exist in industrial enterprises, says Anders Andersen.


Shortage of apprentices is a paradox


From August this year, specific admission requirements have been introduced at the vocational education and training programmes in Denmark, and this contributes to signal a boost in prestige in this type of career. However, Torben Ryberg and Nicolaj Ulnits agree that industry itself also has a responsibility.

– We constitute an important part of the food chain, and we ourselves will have to make great efforts to provide information, training and education, Nicolaj Ulnits states and refers to the paradox that industry is lacking apprentices at the same time as young people at the vocational education and training programmes in Denmark have difficulties in finding work placements.

For the same reason, and in connection with the campaign ”Operation Work Placement”, the Confederation of Danish Industry earlier this year launched a survey of the work placement area to clarify the number of placements and the number of students in search of a placement.


A popular work placement


Traditionally, GPV constitutes a popular work placement, and at the moment a total of seven apprentices are working at the two Danish plants in Tarm or in Aars.

– As an apprentice in GPV you will get a very varied workday and receive a very broad professional foundation because we specialise in the small batches, thus we can bring many different competencies into play. Indeed, we have also permanently employed several of our previous apprentices, Nicolaj Ulnits states.