Engineers of tomorrow
We often talk about the fact that we will lack engineers in the industry within short. One of the Sandvik initiatives to solve this problem is Göranssonska skolan in Sandviken - a three-year technical upper secondary school that is owned by Sandvik and the municipality of Sandviken.
On the very last school day before Christmas vacation, we meet with five students.
Felicia Salenius is 18 years old and as for the other four, it's only one semester left at Göranssonska.
I was not a star in math and the technical disciplines at school, but I still chose Göranssonska, as it opens many doors after graduation. Actually, medical studies and veterinary studies are the only two university programs that will require additional studies before entering", Felicia says.
Sandvik in ten years
It's interesting to hear how engineering students see Sandvik in the future.
In ten years, the Sandvik staff will have a higher education in average than today, says Anna Östblom.
Filip Hedlund-Hansson thinks that Lean will affect the way we work and that the plants will be built differently to adapt to Lean.
Before the first semester started, all five agree that they didn't know much about Sandvik.
I thought of Sandvik as a steel company in Sandviken. Now, I know that it is a truly global company that produces so much more than steel, says Emmanuel Bodin.
The students also get the chance to do a three week internship abroad in third grade. This gives them the chance to utilize their skills and understand how it is to work, but also take care of themselves and solve problems without any support from parents or teachers.
We don't speak German, and did our internship outside of Frankfurt, where a lot of people don't speak English. That was a challenge, says Filip, who spent three weeks at a Kanthal site together with David Grannas.
I think that the worst part was to leave, says Anna, who made her training in Florida together with Felicia. It was so much fun! Everyone should get the chance to do this, but we are the only ones, she says proudly.
Not all students at Göranssonska are allowed to go however. Your grades must be acceptable and if your level of absence from school is too high, you will not be signed up.
The workshop is where it all happens
The students proudly show the workshop where old manual machines share the space with top-notch CNC machines.
It's easy to learn how milling, turning and drilling works on the manual machines. The first year here, we only work on them. The CNC machines are what we'll meet when we start working, says David.
I often think about other technical schools where they don't have a workshop and don't get to do all the internships that we do. That must be really tough, says Felicia.
Engineers, or not?
Göranssonska skolan is a technical school that prepares the students for higher education or a job at Sandvik or similar. The school accepts 64 students per year and houses a total of 192 students from 16 to 18 years of age. The students work hard as they complete their education with a course load which is approximately thirty percent greater than that of a normal Swedish upper secondary school education.
Felicia, Anna and Emmanuel plan to become engineers. Filip has decided to be a jeans designer and David will create music. They all belive that Göranssonska skolan is a great school for potential engineers, but that it doesn't close any doors to other careers either.
It's the last day before Christmas vacation and there are students in every room, busy with their studies. Let's hope that at least three out of five of these students will come back to work for Sandvik in a few years. We will need them.