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"That is why we prefer to recruit students from Luleå University of Technology"

Published: 10 December 2020

Meet Jörgen Kernell, NCC Östergötland, production manager for Civil Östergötland, NCC Infrastructure |

"The program Master Programme in Civil Engineering has a great content and provides students with the right skills that are attractive to us. Therefore, we prefer to recruit students from Luleå University of Technology", says Jörgen Kernell, NCC.

What do you do in your job?

In my current role, I am responsible for the construction operations in Östergötland. In our geography, we have two project manager groups that perform land and civil engineering contracts and a project manager group that performs pure concrete contracts. We have a varied project portfolio with a clear construction focus where we carry out contracts such as land, water and sewerage, roads, quays, bridges, parking garages and industry.

An important part of my work is to build a good corporate culture where we together in NCC Civil Östergötland form a team and have a learning culture.

I began my journey at NCC in 2004 in the role of supervisor. After a few years, I became site manager and then continued in roles as a construction engineer and calculator. In 2010, I started working as a project manager and since 2016 I have started my current role as production manager.

How do you view your collaboration with Luleå University of Technology?

One of the megatrends that has been talked about is that within the next forty years, as much will be built as has been built in the last four thousand years in the world. Urbanization will continue and in the future we will probably talk about 600 cities instead of 200 countries. This change will place great demands on the various parts of the construction industry. To cope with this development, it will be absolutely crucial as a company if you are able to recruit good employees with the right skills.

The construction industry accounts for a large share of the world's emissions. Here, NCC as a player has a responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable industry. It is a responsibility that NCC is determined to assume. We will also become more equal. To meet these challenges, "new thinking" is required that students from Luleå University of Technology can contribute!

The construction market in Östergötland is very good, there is a great need to refurbish and supplement the existing infrastructure with new buildings. The population and economy in the county are growing and in the near future, Ostlänken will also begin to be built.

We at NCC Civil Östergötland work continuously to ensure our competence supply. An important part of the supply of skills is to work closely with universities and colleges. In recent years, we have actively worked to offer summer jobs and internships to students from Luleå University of Technology. We have had several successful recruitments where students have been involved and developed our business. The internship period provides a good opportunity for us as a company to get to know the student and discover his or her potential. We place great value in getting in touch with the student at an early stage of the education in order to then be able to offer summer jobs, degree work and finally also employment. We have a strategic goal in our department to try to recruit a new civil engineer every year in order to strengthen our competitiveness in the long run. Luleå University of Technology's program Master Programme in Civil Engineering as an attractive education for us as employers.

What are your top career advices for students in this program?

Take advantage of your years of study. For me, these were some of my best years. I had the opportunity to meet many good friends who I still hang out with. The study period gives one the opportunity to develop and build their network, which is something I have benefited greatly from in my work. In the construction industry, we build houses and bridges, but one should not forget that we build this through relationships.

After graduation, I recommend that you start working in production on the construction site, regardless of specialization. NCC's core business is out in production, this is where I think you should start and be at least five years old, to learn how the business works and that you get a reality-based picture of the various work processes. With production experience, you have a good foundation to stand on that you will benefit from no matter what you choose to work with at a later stage. Production experience is sought after in several different areas such as design and purchasing, but also on the customer side.