This is a story in four parts, highlighting the TAF (Technical General Studies) program that ClampOn has been part of since 2002.
In 2002, ClampOn took in an apprentice from the Technical General Studies (TAF) program. Since then, 16 students have trained for their Certificate of Craftsmanship at ClampOn while simultaneously getting their higher education entrance qualification in general studies.
“We got into the program through a sub-supplier. They were in the system already and suggested us as a potential participant. Knarvik Upper Secondary School then contacted us and asked if they could present the program,” says Per Arne Aadland, Manager of ClampOn’s Project and Production Departments.
The TAF program is a four-year study. Unlike vocational studies, where students spend the first two years at school and then one to three years as apprentices, TAF students combine studies and apprenticeship throughout the four years. For the first three years, they spend three days at school and two days in a business, then the last years they spend two days at school and three days in the business.
APPRENTICES: Project and Production Department Manager Per Arne Aadland (left) and Instrument Technician and Technical Advisor Ronny Vågenes along two of ClampOn’s current TAF students, Thorbjørn V. Tholo (front left) and Adrian Nygård Meland.
At the end of their study, the students will test for their Certificate of Craftsmanship. In addition, the general studies specialisation makes them eligible to go straight on to higher education, should they wish to do so. This flexibility makes the program popular. As a result, students participating are most often dedicated, skilled, and motivated.
Instrument Technician Ronny Vågenes is the technical advisor for the TAF students at ClampOn, who specialise in industry electronics. He confirms that the students are reliable and hardworking. “They are goal oriented, and want to do well. In return, we offer a good work environment in a business which has plenty of interesting challenges and opportunities for them.”
While the students contribute to ClampOn’s production department during their studies, many of them come back as summer interns. One of ClampOn’s field engineers started as a TAF student, and Per Arne Aadland believes the program can help with recruitment in the future. “We are very satisfied with the TAF program and have chosen to stay with it, and we have never regretted joining it.”
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