Amalie Blomgren from Morvik in Bergen has recently passed the trade examination and is finally a certified mechanic. After two years as an apprentice at Frydenbø Bilsenter in Åsane, she is looking forward to taking a step further into the role of newly certified mechanic!
Car interest showing up in middle school
At the age of 13-14, Amalie became curious about how an engine worked and began to take an interest in cars.
- At middle school, I spent much of my free time learning more about cars and engines. No one in my family was a mechanic, but the interest showed itself, she said.
When the middle school class was sent out on work placement at various companies, none of the professions they could choose from was mechanics. Amalie thought that was dumb, and she even went into the car center and arranged her own work placement spot.
- It was the first time I visited the workshop. When I applied again for a work placement in high school, I knew that I wanted to work at Frydenbø Bilsenter in Åsane, she says.
Later, Amalie was deployed in Åsane during her 1st and 2nd years at high school, in addition to having had a summer job at the workshop during the holidays.
"I have spent quite a bit of time here," Amalie said with a smile.
Few women in the industry
The automotive industry is still a male-dominated arena, and there are few women choosing to train as mechanics. Amalie was the only girl in her class in her freshman year of high school interested in mechanics.
- I didn't know any of the people I was going to start class with, and remember wishing there was another girl. It is very nice to meet other girls with the same interest, since we are in the minority in the car community."
What would you say to the young women who are thinking about becoming mechanics but may be a little unsure?
- I had barely touched an engine before I came here, and now I have just passed my trade exam. If you have an interest in cars, or are curious about the profession – just jump in. Don't let limited experience taking things apart stop you!" Amalie said as an encouragement.
Gradually gained more responsibility
During the internship and at the beginning of her apprenticeship, Amalie was put on a team with a more experienced mechanic in order to develop and become more confident in her work. Over time, she has gradually gained more responsibility.
- I was teamed up with another apprentice later. We got our own lift book, our own tool cabinet and our own PCs. Eventually, we also took phone calls so we could try our hand at having proper customer contact. We have been involved in most things – the entire process from when the customer books an appointment until the car is returned," she said.
-The learning curve has been steep, but I think it's really great. It shows that my employer trusts me and they felt that they could have given me more responsibility," Amalie said.
Good working environment
Apprentice or not – it is important that you enjoy your work and workplace, and that you feel welcome and safe among colleagues. Although Amalie has at times been the only girl in the workshop, that hasn't been a problem for her.
- I think that our working environment is enormously good here, at Frydenbø you are more than just an apprentice. I can ask all my colleagues for help, and I can talk to my managers and tell them how I'm doing at work. They are very good at helping and facilitating things if I need it," she said.
Amalie went on to say that she has never experienced anything negative about being a woman in her profession. She emphasised that the workplace is fair and describes Frydenbø as a place that is very welcoming of new people regardless of gender and age.
- Frydenbø is inclusive and forward-looking. Both in terms of the future, the development of cars, and by following the pace of the car market. They also support women who want to become mechanics. Frydenbø wants us on the team and stresses the importance and equality of everyone," she said.
What is important to you, in order to enjoy work?
- That we respect and help each other. When we work in teams, it's not about "my" customer or "your" customer, we work together. Collaboration is an important word in everyday life at the shop. Of course, it is also important to have fun at work, that we can joke with each other and have a good atmosphere when we work," Amalie said with a smile.
The Girls Team
Since October 2021, Amalie has been teamed up with Trude Toft, who is a first-year apprentice at Åsane. They became the Girls Team at the workshop and enjoy their work – as a bonus they have also become good friends.
Read about Trude here: We get to try everything here as apprentices
- I think the customers think it's nice to come into the workshop and see that there is a separate team of girls on the floor! Trude and I have received a lot of positive feedback from customers who have stopped by. They say that they think that we are tough for choosing to work in this profession. Workshop manager Per Flygansvær is also clear on his confidence in us apprentices, and that he is keen to get more women into the mechanic profession – which is very nice," Amalie said.
Passed the trade examination!
Throughout her apprenticeship, Amalie has worked steadily on theory to prepare as much as possible for the trade exam. At the workshop, she has had time to focus on the areas she has needed to work on more, and she said that Frydenbø has organized things well for her, so that she has been able to manage her trade training herself.
Now Amalie has passed the exam with flying colours and will continue at Frydenbø as a certified mechanic.
- I have also been offered the opportunity to start my technician training and specialise in electric and hybrid vehicles. The pace of development in the automotive industry is fast; electric and hybrids are the future. It is important to grab the opportunities that come your way, and it is very fun that I have received this offer from Frydenbø! The industry certainly needs more technicians – and more women. Frydenbø is good at showing how we have the same opportunities, regardless of gender," she said in conclusion.