This is a story in four parts, highlighting the TAF (Technical General Studies) program that ClampOn has been part of since 2002.
When 15-year-old Peter Hatlebrekke Husebø interviewed for an apprentice position at ClampOn, he had never been in an interview situation before, and he had no idea how to act. “When I was offered a cookie, I overanalysed everything and thought they were going to test how I would react to that offer. I was really nervous,” he says.
Peter did accept a cookie. He also put ClampOn as his first choice for his apprenticeship. Then he had to wait. The message of acceptance came while he was on vacation in USA. Peter’s big sister Caroline immediately let him know. “It was a decision that would influence my life quite a bit, so when I knew I had been accepted, I was very relieved,” he says.
Caroline, who is four years older than Peter, was the one who encouraged him to join the TAF program in the first place. She had been a TAF herself, and found it to be a great opportunity. Peter worked hard for the grades required to get into the program, and when he applied, he was one of 72 who were interviewing at the various businesses. Only nine got a spot in the TAF electronics class.
“I thought about mechanics as well, but ended up picking electronics. It was a new field to me, but something I wanted to learn more about.”
At ClampOn, the fourth year TAF apprentices help train the fresh ones. When Peter started his apprenticeship, Øyvind Sanden became his mentor. Peter followed him around, did what he did, and took instructions from him. “Øyvind always had an answer for me, and I could relate to him as he was close in age and had been in my situation before. I think it made a big difference.”
Now, 19-year-old Peter is the mentor of ClampOn’s first year apprentice Martin Pedersen. “This summer I thought ‘whoa, that is how far I have come?’. It was strange, because to me it felt like Øyvind just left, and that I had just started making it on my own. Getting this far is a good feeling though. I have learned a lot here.”
One of the main things Peter will take away from his apprenticeship is the understanding of how things work. In the beginning, he would do tests without thinking more about them afterwards. Then he started reflecting on why he performed those tests. “Now, if something goes wrong, I know why, and that makes it easier to figure out how to fix it,” he says, and gives credit to his technical advisor, Ronny Vågenes. “Ronny is always there for us. He helps us a lot, and he has the answer to more or less all our questions.”
This spring, Peter will take his Certificate of Craftsmanship and his final exams. He has never regretted choosing TAF, though he admits that watching his friends finish upper secondary and then take a year off to chill, sometimes makes him wonder what he is doing. Nonetheless, Peter is hardworking and ambitious, and he already has plans for what to do next.
“I will try to become a field operator in the intelligence battalion in the military. After that, my first choice is to take a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim,” he says; incidentally the same education two former ClampOn TAFs are taking right now.
Link to Part 1 – Combining craftsmanship and general studies
Link to Part 2 – The TAF Who came back to ClampOn
Link to Part 3 – The TAF who had four fantastic years at ClampOn