Trude Toft (20) from Knarvik is a first-year mechanic apprentice; and started at Frydenbø Bilsenter Åsane in August 2021. She has about a year left of her apprenticeship, and is already well on her way to becoming an auto mechanic!
Changed field of study in high school
Initially, Trude finished both VG1 (TIP) and VG2 (Industrial Technology), but she discovered an interest in car mechanics and electrical work through friends.
- I chose to change direction and applied for vehicles studies at Årstad High School. The scariest thing was deciding to go to school for another year. It held me back a bit since I actually finished school, but I'm glad I did, she said.
At school, Trude had a teacher watching here who noticed her potential. He believed that she could become a technician, and arranged for a placement at Frydenbø Bilsenter in Åsane.
- When I visited the workshop and talked to workshop manager Per Flygansvær, I thought, hey! that this could be something for me. I got to know everyone well and wanted to be there longer, she said.
Not like any other workshop
t Frydenbø, one of three strategic focus areas is "team". When new apprentices arrive, emphasis is placed on making them feel welcome and like a part of "Team Frydenbø".
- Frydenbø is not like any other workshop. We get to try everything here as apprentices! We get to call customers, repair a lot of different things, pick up parts and cars and deliver finished cars. The work is very diverse. We are also placed on our own team early on. I joined a team after two months, which was really nice, she said with a smile.
In other words, everyday life for an apprentice at Frydenbø Bilsenter is versatile – and sometimes jobs appear in the workshop that are more difficult than others, but Trude has nothing against a challenge.
- I had a particularly complicated job where a fan motor was broken. It is located behind the center console. I had to disassemble a lot to get there, and use special tools to get it out. It was really two-person job, and working on it alone was challenging. I got help from the others at the workshop and finally made it!" Trude said.
Like a big family
Trude said that the working environment and culture at the workshop are very good, and that they are like one big family.
- Everyone is well received here, regardless of gender. No one changes their behaviour or discriminates because women work here. Nor do posters of half-naked women hang on the wall – which is an old stereotype, she pointed out.
She also said that the best thing about working at Frydenbø is that she can talk to all her colleagues, laugh and have fun at work.
- It's really nice to work here, she added.
Experts in changing springs
Now Trude works on a team with Amalie, who has recently passed the trade examination.
-We have a lot of fun together and support each other in everything. If one of us is having a hard day, we help each other get our spirits back up," she said with a smile.
Most of all, she enjoys working with car interiors. For example, if there has been a water leak, and she has to dismantle all the interior and put back in place after replacement.
- When it comes to mechanical work, I like best when a spring needs to be replaced. Amalie and I have become experts at that! We got a good routine for it and can do the job in a very short time. It's a lot of fun," she said.
Just as easy for girls as for boys
In 2022, there is still a majority of men who are trained as mechanics, and there is a shortage of both labour and women in the industry. Trude encourages everyone to take the challenge in stride, and take the time to try out whether the profession can be interesting for you.
- First of all, just go for it! We need more women in the profession. It may seem challenging, and there is a lot to learn, but it is as easy for girls as it is for boys. It's important to familiarise yourself with the subject, pay close attention and try your hand at it," she said.
The opportunity to try her hand at the profession was what made Trude decide that she wanted to become a mechanic.
- During work placement, we get to know what it's like to get our hands dirty, and you quickly notice if it's a profession that's suitable for you or not. Especially if you get the opportunity to test it out for a week or two. It made me figure out what I wanted to be! She concluded.