Barel is growing

Maria Goman and Kristin Tharaldsen

There has been a lot of activity at Barel this autumn. 14 new trainees have been hired. 7 started on 2 October and the rest starts on 2 January. The number of applicants has exceeded all expectations, Kristin Tharaldsen and Maria Goman say. They both work in the HR department at Barel.

Since 1993 we have developed and manufactured electronics for OEM customers within the markets for international lighting and heating industry. Since 2002 most of our production took place in Murmansk. In 2022 we decided to move the Factory to Kirkenes. We are glad that many of our employees from Murmansk, commute to work in Kirkenes.

-This is very good, but we must also be realistic. There’s a risk that the border may close or that the workers no longer want to commute and therefore quit. Thus, we want to be one step ahead, Kristin says. -Also, the company is expanding and we will need more employees.

120 applicants

Maria Goman started working at Barel on 1 August. Not many days after starting, Maria received 120 applications. -Kristin and I started working intensively and eventually narrowed down the list to 30 interview candidates. The interview process took about two weeks. We ended up hiring 14 trainees. 7 of them started on 2 October, while the rest starts on 2 January 2024.

What background do the trainees have?

– The trainees have different cultures and backgrounds, as well as the age span from 18 to 55 years. With a very different work experience, too. Ranging from handcraft jewelery designer to missile operator, while some of them haven’t had much work experience at all. We are very satisfied with the balance we managed to maintain throughout the whole recruitment process, also in terms of gender representation, Maria tells.

A few weeks have now passed since they started. How have these weeks been for the trainees?

-The first week were focused on theory, safety, fire protection, EHS and Barel’s quality system. The trainees were in the production premises a lot and observed at the various stations and the warehouse. Already in week two, they started producing themselves, under the supervision of the instructors at the factory, according to Kristin.

Is it possible for these trainees to get at permanent job at Barel?

-Yes. We will do evaluations along the way, where the trainees and the instructors will give feedback on the work done. After three months of traineeship, we will do a final evaluation to see what the trainee liked the most, how he/she liked it here and managed the work. If the trainee and we are satisfied, he/she will be offered a permanent position at Barel, Kristin says.

Jan Erik Laiti and Mette Caroline Olsen shows Kristin Tharaldsen and Maria Goman how they work.

Positive feedback from the trainees

Three weeks into the program, we had a chat with Mette Caroline Olsen, who started as a trainee 2 October.

-It’s exciting to learn something completely new. We have been very well received at Barel. I have never before received such good training in a workplace. I am very positive about this arrangement, Mette tells.

The Future looks bright

In summary, the aim of the trainee period is to have three months of mutual testing of the trainees as employees and Barel as an employer. We hope the trainees will enjoy their work and find their role in our organization. Our goal is to grow and to hire permanent workers, Maria and Kristin conclude.