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IN PROGRESS WITH SUSTAINABLE FOOTPRINTS

Battery school is ready for admission

The planned professional training for employees for Norwegian battery production turned out to be more content and comprehensive than first thought. The exciting vocational school has therefore postponed the start of studies until the new year, but in a few days those who want to learn can submit their applications.

Battery
An education from the battery vocational school flag you among the candidates for exciting positions. Photo: Dreamstime

As most people know, the Giga Factory in Mo i Rana will need a great many skilled workers, and this for a type of production that very few people are familiar with. The same challenge is shared by Morrow in Arendal and by other players in the Norwegian battery industry.

Some have raised questions about whether there is sufficient expertise in Norway to get hold of, and in the spring of 2021 Norwegian Industry started the project Battkomp, which was to map and analyze the need for expertise related to a large-scale investment in the battery industry in Norway. Norwegian Industry was involved in the work with both the labour movement and Prosess21, the process industry's path choice until 2050.

The project resulted in an interim report in October last autumn which made clear recommendations to the country's vocational schools and universities.

Batterifagskolen, Freyr Battery, Giga Factory
Eirik Hågensen, rector and Tommy Hvidsten, project manager of the Battery Vocational School. Photo: VS Viken

Based on the Battkomp report, the Vocational School in Nordland and four other vocational schools entered a collaboration to establish a relevant education for the new industry's skilled workers. Now the content of the vocational school education has finally been determined, and project manager Tommy Hvidsten at the Vocational School in Viken says that at the bottom lies the well-established vocational school education for Norwegian industry.

- Yes, we are establishing the battery vocational school on a well-established and recognized template, and then we adapt this for the battery industry.

- What does that mean?

- We have developed three completely new modules in the battery school. One is called the battery industry and sustainability, while the other is called electrochemistry and materials engineering. The third module is called logistics and traceability in production, while the study is otherwise based on much of the content of the School of Industrial Studies, which was launched in 2019.

At the end of January this year, the final report of Battkomp could be delivered to the minister, and since then the work has progressed at a high pace. The various universities have long since started rigging their educational programs to make Norway a spearhead in the world's battery production. But it is at the battery vocational school that most students will receive their education.

- Who can apply for admission?

- Anyone who has a diploma in all technology subjects, electrical subjects and logistics. In addition, it is possible to undergo a practical skills assessment if you have five years' experience, says Tommy Hvidsten.

He goes on to say that the target group for the vocational school is both future operators in production and middle managers with relevant engineering education. Parts of the education will take place through practice in a company, so that the early employees at Freyr will have a great advantage.

The principal at the Vocational School in Viken, Eirik Hågensen, is happy about the opportunity they will now give skilled workers to further their education in order to contribute to the green shift.

- This is a signature project where we upgrade "adult" skilled workers to be able to work in new, green energy, he says.

The teaching will be arranged according to subject content and adapted to the students' situation and needs in the company where the student works. The teaching will take place in meetings on campus, online and, if possible, outside the companies.

The battery school is planned with a total of 60 credits. To give the students a good understanding of Industry 4.0 and digitized production, the study will be based in part on well-known modules from the Industrial Studies.

On the website of the Vocational School in Viken, you can register as interested, and you will be notified as soon as the battery vocational school opens for applications.


Link to project Battkomp

Link to Prosess21


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