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“It’s quite funny that when I’m on my second break at one o’clock, some of my friends are just getting up. But I feel really productive at the end of the day after getting so much work done”, says Nora.
The 17-year-old is used to spending a large part of her summer holiday at the Lerøy factory on Bulandet. It is what she has done for the past two years, and before that she had already done occasional temping at the factory for a few years.
“I’ve been taught that it’s important to get work experience, as well as develop a good work ethic, and working here has given me that”, she says.
The factory at Holmen, which has been processing white fish since 1972, is one of Norway’s few modern processing facilities of its kind. It makes a variety of coated fish products based on cod and saithe, as well as fillets of cod, saithe and tusk, which are sold as fish blocks or as lightly salted or unsalted portions. Out of the around 45 employees, she is one of six summer temps who are helping out so other people can have a holiday.
The year she turned 13 she was asked if she wanted to lend a hand in the afternoon after school. That was during the saithe season, which is a hectic time for staff at Lerøy Bulandet. Nora accepted the offer, and she has worked there ever since. She knows that not many 17-year-olds have as many years’ work experience as her.
“I feel very privileged and lucky to have had a chance to do such so much good work experience”, she says modestly.
Lerøy Bulandet has a long tradition of using summer temps going right back to the late 1980s. For the management, it is important to give young people a chance, so they can get a taste of working life.
“We employ school pupils who return year after year and become really good at their jobs. They are a big help at our factory: eager to learn and bright”, says Irene.
A key employer
On Bulandet, the factory is the key employer that everyone has a relationship to. Nora tells us that local people are proud of their fish factory.
“It is nice to go round shops and see products that were made here in Bulandet; it makes you proud”, she adds.
It is also one of the big employers in the Askvoll Municipality, and Nora knows many people who work at, or have worked at, the factory.
“My teacher, my parents and my brother have all worked there, and my aunt still does.”
The working day always begins with a morning meeting where the management talk about what got done the previous day, and sets out what will happen today. After that, they change into their work clothes and start processing the fish. One of the things Nora likes best is that no two days are the same.
“The work is really varied, with all kinds of tasks and different products to be made each day”, she says.
Irene is full of praise for her: “Nora is a positive and capable girl, who makes an excellent contribution both through her work and as a team member”.
Nora says she has learned a great deal from working at the fish factory, and as well as a good work ethic, she has built up lots of experience of working with fish, production processes and communication.
“Another thing I really like is that it’s so sociable.”
Since Lerøy Bulandet believes in giving young people a chance, there are several summer temps around her age, and she particularly appreciates being able to chat to them in her breaks.
“And then it’s great to be able to earn your own money!” adds Nora.
She is trying to save as much as possible, but she has to admit that she spends a bit on online shopping.