Welder Arve Østerberg at Boss Industri explained the work process to Minister Jan Tore Sanner, who visited the mechanical workshop in Kristiansand Wednesday.

Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of Education and Integration, made a pit stop at Boss Industri in Kristiansand Wednesday.

75 days before Norwegians elect their local and regional representatives, Sanner and his fellow ministers travel the country to visit 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, to receive input to future policymaking. Boss Industri, a family-owned mechanical workshop founded by Arne Vatne in a barn 62 years ago, was Sanner’s third stop in three hours.

30 people are employed by Boss Industri, which is now headed by Elin Vatne, daughter of founder Arne. The company specializes in various steel welding, surface treatment and hydraulics.

In their presentation to Minister Sanner, both Vatne and Business Developer Rune Fredriksen stressed the importance of vocational training.

“We need more emphasis on the kind of competence that is relevant for our industry. We have been hiring lately, but it is hard to find skilled people,” says Fredriksen.

Anne-Grete Ellingsen, CEO of GCE NODE, said it is important for Norwegian SMEs that the government makes sure that Norway is included in a new European Union R&D program, called Digital Europe, which is designed to assist SMEs in their digital transformation.

Minister Sanner came to learn more about Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises. Presentations were given by CEO at Boss Industri Elin Vatne (left) and CEO at GCE NODE Anne-Grete Ellingsen.
Left-right: Rune Fredriksen (Business Developer, Boss Industri), Elin Vatne (CEO, Boss Industri), Minister Jan Tore Sanner and Anne-Grete Ellingsen (CEO, GCE NODE).