From left: Trude Bøe (Tromsø Næringsforening), Frode Berg (PTG), Hans Petter Kvaal (Høyre Tromsø) and Erna Solberg.
Ready to award apprenticeships
The pressing need for qualified personnel in Norway’s refrigeration sector, not least to ensure growth for the national seafood industry, was explained to premier Erna Solberg today.
She was given a briefing on the position by entrepreneur and technical manager Frode Berg during a visit to PTG (formerly Kuldeteknisk) in Tromsø.
“Society would shut down completely without refrigeration,” Berg said. “We’re experiencing massive expansion in the fishing and aquaculture sectors, and it’s essential to build up expertise and recruit people who can serve these industries.”
He believes educational provision for entrants to the Norwegian refrigeration sector must be strengthened at upper secondary level and beyond.
The Ishavsbyen upper secondary school at Rambergan (previously Tromsø Maritime School) dropped its course for refrigeration and heat pump installers in 2017 because applications were too low.
The following year, the refrigeration sector in the north Norwegian town made a concerted effort to inform young people about the opportunities it offered.
In less than 12 months, the position had been reversed – with a record number of applicants for the revived course.
The industry really needs to maintain provision in Troms and Finnmark counties for technical training in refrigeration and air conditioning, Berg told the prime minister. He emphasised that the industry was ready to award apprenticeships in this area.
“Last year’s record applications were the result of a fantastic collaboration between the companies in the sector and others,” Berg said.
“They include the Rambergan campus, the Troms county council cabinet member for education, the other upper secondary schools in the district, and not least all the young people who’ve been interested in what we do.”
“The world’s population is growing, and the demand for healthy protein is driving an ever more vigorous seafood market,” Berg pointed out.
“That creates an increasing need for efficient refrigeration and freezing solutions both on land and at sea. Energy is also a significant raw material, and our collective expertise in using it efficiently can contribute to substantial reductions in costs and emissions.”
From left: Hans Petter Kvaal (Høyre Tromsø), Frode Berg (PTG) and Erna Solberg.
From left: Erna Solberg, Hans Petter Kvaal (Høyre Tromsø), Ragnhild Berg Nilsen (Høyre Tromsø), Liv Mona Arntzen (PTG) Frode Berg (PTG), Erlend Svardal Bøe (Høyre Tromsø) and one of the visiting journalists.