This is a story in four parts, highlighting the TAF (Technical General Studies) program that ClampOn has been part of since 2002.
After finishing his apprenticeship, Gaute Langhelle’s plan was to use his year of military service to figure out what to do next. When a medical condition spoiled those plans, he returned to ClampOn, and since then, he has travelled around the world as a field engineer.
Gaute comes from Masfjorden, a municipality in the northern part of Hordaland County. The idea of choosing Technical General Studies came mainly from the advisor at school. “Back then I did a lot of sports, and I did not have any electronics experience. I just liked the thought of combining work and studies, and getting a Certificate of Craftsmanship,” says Langhelle (29).
He got one out of nine spots in the program at Knarvik Upper Secondary School. This meant that at age 15, he had to move away from home to study. “It was a bit strange at the start, but it went well. Though I took my dirty laundry back home to my mum,” he admits.
Gaute interviewed for three businesses, including ClampOn. While he cannot recall a lot from the actual interviews, he remembers being uncomfortable. Still, ClampOn stood out enough to become his first choice. This meant that each morning of his apprenticeship, Gaute got a lift with a colleague who started work at seven in the morning. Getting up that early was a challenge for him. He also found it challenging to be so young in an environment of grown-ups.
“I was far younger than everyone who worked in the production department, at that time there were five of them. In addition, everything was new to me. Fortunately, the others took good care of me. I learned a lot.”
As ClampOn was a small business at the time, Gaute tried his hand at a variety of tasks, which included things such as counting and ordering supplies, taking out paper and trash, and packing equipment for shipment in addition to his technical training. He started out working with wiring and power supplies, and after taking a soldering course, he began to make electronics. One of his favourite tasks was working with rack mounted electronics, making big systems with many sensors.
For his Certificate of Craftsmanship, he had to solder a safety card to a sensor, produce a sensor using this card, build a PSU box, put everything together, and make it work. Gaute was nervous beforehand, but had no problems completing the test. “Getting my Certificate of Craftsmanship was a great recognition. I have it framed on the wall of my old bedroom.”
After finishing his studies, Gaute worked in production for half a year. Then, he left to do his obligatory military service while figuring out what he wanted to do next. Three months later, a previously unknown medical condition got him discharged. With no other plan at hand, Gaute returned to ClampOn where he was offered a job as a field engineer. Since then, he has travelled around the world as a part of ClampOn’s service department, apart from a three years break to take a Bachelor’s Degree in subsea technology.
“I am having a great time here. I work shifts, four weeks on, one week where I am available if necessary, and three weeks off. This means I can plan a lot for the off weeks. Lately, I have spent time travelling in Europe and to concerts. “I have been told that at the ClampOn interview, I mentioned that becoming a police officer was a possibility. I can’t say I am sad that didn’t happen.”
Coming up next week: Part 3 – The TAF Who Went On to Build Boats
Link to part 1 – Combining Craftshmanship and General Studies
Link to part 3 – The TAF Who Went on to Build Boats – Randi Anette Rønnestad Fikkan
Link to part 4 – The current TAF – Peter Hatlebrekke Husebø