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How we attract qualified labour

According to a brand new industry analysis from Plastindustrien (The Danish Plastics Federation), many Danish companies in the plastics industry yearn for manpower. Compared to 2009, there are 19 per cent fewer jobs in the industry, while the same time employment in plastic companies in other European countries has increased.

However, at Hjerno we are not experiencing any shortage in skilled labour, which, according to managing director Aage Agergaard can be attributed to an age-long recruitment effort.

"Throughout the years we have opened our doors to pupils and students from public schools and technical schools, who are, among other things, allowed to mill their own historic coin on a CNC milling machine. And at the same time, we make sure to take a stable number of apprentices into the company," he says, referring to the fact that Hjerno currently employs five apprentices.

Will train own assemblers
The latest initiative concerns employing experienced craftsmen with a background from the metal industry and then training them ourselves to make them skilled assemblers.

"We call them narrow employees. E.g. an employee, who carries out very few functions and who perfects him-/herself within the field of assembly. The plan is to free up some resources with our tool makers, who will instead serve as so-called broad employees with a wider field of responsibilities," explains Aage Agergaard.

The assemblers may be mechanics, metalworkers or other craftsmen, who may have become tired of their profession or who may be looking for new challenges. The most important thing is that they have a background in the metal industry - and that they think it could be exciting to participate in the manufacturing of highly specialised tools for a wide range of interesting clients.

"I promise that they are not going to get bored. They will enter an entirely new world, where they will have to work with the highest possible accuracy. In addition, this is non-dirty work, where you do not get oil on your fingers. So if you wish to work within the tool-making profession, please do contact us," finishes Aage Agergaard.

The picture shows Mads Højme Larsen, Hjerno's latest skilled apprentice.