The goal is that the participants after completing their education have increased their opportunities for employment at Northvolt's new battery production factory in Bergsbyn outside Skellefteå. Labor market training is part of a so-called fast track that aims to speed up the road to work for new arrivals and foreign-born with skills in the shortage.
Relocate for snow and job
– Commissioned training in operation and maintenance technology is a good example of how different actors can work together to solve the competence supply issue in Northern Sweden. It is also important that different education providers approach each other and take joint responsibility for making it easier for individuals to develop their skills, says Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology.
One of the engineers hoping for a job at Northvolt after completing his education is Hicham Baammi, who moved from Spain to Nyköping a year ago. He has a background as a civil engineer in mechanical engineering and is one of 38 people who participate in the six-month distance education.
- If I get the chance for a job at Northvolt, I move up immediately! In addition, I love the snow and the changing of the seasons - therefore northern Sweden suits me perfectly, says Hicham and adds that the opportunity to be involved from an early stage in a company like Northvolt would be incredibly developing.
"The dialogue with the teachers is the most inspiring"
Returning to school after a few years as a mechanical and process engineer in Spain, he describes as a positive experience.
- The Swedish education system is wonderful, honestly - really fantastic! You take into account and meet each individual student based on their ability, says Hicham who thinks that the teaching takes place in an inspiring way.
- Above all, I appreciate the dialogue with the teachers where we together develop reasoning that can solve complex tasks. It starts the thought process. We get practical knowledge that is in demand by the labor market, says Hicham.
Despite distance studies and long distances, a close-knit group of students has been formed. Together they help each other with their studies and the new life in Sweden.
- I have gotten to know people from all over the world with different kinds of background and that alone is very rewarding for me, says Hicham.
Motivated for further studies
Despite a sometimes demanding education, the studies have given more flavor.
- Together with my teachers, I have investigated the possibility of building on the education and take a master's degree in maintenance technology, provided that it is possible to combine further distance studies with future work, says Hicham who also hopes to visit the university on site when the pandemic is over.
Effective collaboration for lifelong learning
Lifelong learning has a strategically important function for the labor market and strengthens both the individual and society. "This type of training contributes partly to equipping jobseekers and strengthening their position, but is also a way of securing the supply of skills based on the need that exists, for example in an establishment as large as Northvolt," says Ivan Cvitic, researcher and coordinator for the fast track at Arbetsförmedlingen and adds that the assessment is that more than 3,000 people in various ykes roles need to be employed over the next four years.
It is not only students who testify to the high level of education - the Swedish Public Employment Service is also satisfied with how it is designed.
- The collaboration has worked incredibly well and we are happy to collaborate with a high-quality university. We have had good dialogues that have contributed to an efficient process from initial contact to course start. The result is an education that is completely adapted in line with our mission and with content that suits Northvolt's needs, says Ivan Cvitic.
The university plays a key role in the supply of skills
- We are very happy about the positive response that students and collaboration partners give to the education and our entire university. With the record-breaking investments that northern Sweden is facing in the coming years, we as a university have an important role in securing the need for in-demand skills, says Pernilla Tingvall, collaboration strategist and project manager for LTU Professional Education, the university's organization for further education of professionals.