High shortage of engineering expertise for battery industries – NRK Nordland

Illustrasjon av Freyrs batterifabrikk

– It will be a sigh of relief for us. Now we need not so much messages, but actions.

That’s what Hanne Marit Henriksen, an educated engineer and principal board member, says NITO.

– This is good with an offensive battery strategy. But for us to be covered, we must have access to proper and adequate qualifications. We don’t have what we need here, and that’s very sad, says Henriksen.

There is a shortage of engineers across the country.

They are very tired Battery chargingSome believe it will replace oil and gas revenues.

Inefficiency:- It is urgent

Joined the government on Wednesday Norway’s first battery strategy.

It took place in the Mo Industrial Park, not far from the pilot factory of the privately owned company Fryer Battery.

With more battery factories coming up, skilled engineers are in high demand.

It has been eight years since employers in Norway experienced great difficulties in obtaining engineering expertise like today.

There is a huge shortage in Nordland.

The government’s ten-point plan aims to help Norway become a leading producer and develop a so-called profitable battery value chain.

Hane Marit Henriksen

Hanne Marit Henriksson is a core board member of NITO.

During a press conference in Mo, the Minister of Trade and Industry recently announced that he will present a report to the Storting on capacity building in 2023.

– We are very happy about that, but we already have a lot of knowledge. We know we need to be tech savvy. Factories are coming up fast, Henriksen says, and something needs to happen now.

She thinks specifically about the need for continuing and further education to ensure that those already in the workforce are not obsolete.

The Minister agreed with NITO

Trade and Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre (Labour) said the goal now is to ensure enough renewable energy in Norway to keep the carbon footprint as small as possible.

– We provide support for research and development, which are then employed by the companies themselves, and have big ambitions to make themselves greener. We are happy for that and will do our best to make it happen.

– What do you think about NITO’s concerns about capacity?

– Norway has the best engineers and skilled workers in the world, and many of them are doing well in green industries, including the battery value chain. I totally agree with NITO, it is urgent to educate more people. Therefore, the government is working to expand education provision in the districts where these job opportunities are created.

Vocational education will strengthen schools and make it easier to build real talent, Westray says.

We are also working on reforms that contribute to this work, he says.

– But does the expertise need to be sourced from outside or can everything be developed in Norway?

– Just as we built the oil and gas adventure in the 70s, we rely on little outside help. But in the battery strategy, the government makes it clear that the goal is to build its own cutting-edge expertise in batteries in Norway.

According to Westre, they will do this by working closely with industry and academia.

– A Battery Vocational School among others with already established Vocational Schools. We are also seeing secondary schools develop their own educational offerings. We think Norway can build this capability.

About 600 human years for a long time

The Giga Arctic battery factory is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2024.

Thomas Bergen, Freire’s factory manager in Moi Rana, said major recruitment is planned for 2023.

– We still don’t go directly to candidates, but we market and have conversations with important target groups in the right channels.

In the long term, the factory will have about 600 man-years. In addition, the pilot factory and test center will have employees and workers.

Freire's factory manager at Moi Rana, Thomas Bergen

Freire’s factory manager at Moi Rana, Thomas Bergen.

Photo: Press photo

Many nationalities

Freire plans to specialize both at home and abroad.

Mo already has battery experts from Japan, China, Great Britain and Germany. But apart from NTNU and other universities, also from the technical sector in Norway.

– We need good engineers, Bergen says, and have already hired many talented people in the pilot factory, project department and operations department.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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