Minister Tina Bru met with National Oilwell Varco, MHWirth, Nekkar and other GCE NODE companies at a meeting in Kristiansand Tuesday. The University of Agder, Gard, Eyde Cluster and Agder Energy were among those also invited to the meeting, as a showing of the unity that characterizes the region’s business sector.
33-year-old Minister Bru is four weeks into her new position at the Norwegian government. She is travelling the country to get to know the industry better.
“I am always happy to meet industry people to listen and learn,” said Bru.
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In Kristiansand, she learnt that some companies, in particular NOV-APL, have recruitment difficulties.
“It is hard to find qualified personnel for vacant positions. Right now, this obstructs our continued development and growth,” says Jan-Børre Sannæs, CEO of APL-NOV.
Part of the reason for poor recruitment is a decreasing demand for oil and gas related university courses. Rector of University of Agder, Sunniva Whittaker, said there is a decline in applications for traditional oil and gas courses, but an increase in renewable energy.
“We need you to speak positively of oil and gas. If you do, more talented people will find their way into the industry, making it easier to recruit,” said Anders Hodne, Sales Director at National Oilwell Varco.
University of Agder’s study programs are in part developed in a close relationship with the industry.
“We pride ourselves in a good dialogue with the regional industry when we design new study programs. It comes natural in a region characterized by great unity,” said Whittaker.
Chairman of GCE NODE and CEO of MHWirth, Eirik Bergsvik, agrees.
“We cooperate well with both the university, the research sector and other parts of the industry, such as the Eyde Cluster. This is a huge advantage for the whole region, as it makes us stronger,” says Bergsvik.
These are the people and companies/institutions that met with Minister Tina Bru:
- Eirik Bergsvik (CEO, MHWirth and Chairman of GCE NODE)
- Anders Hodne (Sales Director, National Oilwell Varco Norway)
- Jan-Børre Sannæs (Managing Director NOV-APL)
- Mette Harv (Executive Vice President, Nekkar)
- Fredrik Bringaker (CEO, Young Industrial Innovators)
- Sunniva Whittaker (Rector, University of Agder)
- Thor Arne Håverstad (NORCE)
- Sveinung Hovstad (Director, Innovation Norway)
- Kristin Tofte Andresen (County Director, Agder County)
- Steffen Syvertsen (CEO, Agder Energi)
- Rolf Thore Roppestad (CEO, Gard)
- Helene Fladmark (CEO, Eyde Cluster)
- Nils Gjelsten (CEO, Nikkelverket)
- Peter Klemsdal (CEO, Sørlandets Kompetansefond)
- Kjell O. Johannessen (Project Manager, University of Agder)
- Marianne Engvoll (R&DI Manager, GCE NODE)
- Isabelle-Louise Aabel (EU Advisor, GCE NODE)