Scania and Sandvik providing workshop experience to engineering undergraduates
A guaranteed summer job that is worth six college credits and pays a salary at the same time. This year, Scania and Sandvik are providing workshop experience to 65 engineering undergraduates in Sweden. The project is an investment in the future and one way of ensuring that the country can continue to pursue advanced, profitable industrial production.
Production engineering is a subject that has declined in popularity among the students at Sweden’s university-level engineering schools, though a slight upturn has been discernible in the past two years. To reverse the negative trend, for the third straight year Scania is offering a summer of practical production workshop training in order to attract more undergraduate to choose a specialisation in production engineering. Last year, Swedish-based metals and equipment group Sandvik also took up the challenge and is accepting 23 engineering undergraduates this year.
The two industrial groups emphasise that product development is a competitive tool that generates economic growth and keeps jobs in Sweden. Another aim of the practical workshop training programme is to recruit qualified engineers as employees.
“Recruiting highly skilled employees is a key issue in the Swedish engineering industry. We must make a more concerted effort to ensure a continued supply of graduate engineers. We at Scania and Sandvik regard these workshop training weeks as one of the best ways of presenting the company and all the exciting jobs available in the production engineering field. At the same time, undergraduates get a chance to gain important practical experience,” says Thomas Karlsson, Senior Vice President in charge of Scania’s component production.
“We need qualified, capable employees. If we are to be competitive, given our high labour cost situation, we must rely on both technology and people. The practical workshop training programme is a good way of marketing ourselves to students,” says Kjell Söderhäll, General Manager Sandvik Production Gimo.
Scania’s summer practical workshop training programme lasts seven weeks, Sandvik’s nine weeks. Both provide a mix of hands-on production work and theory. One much-appreciated element of the programme is project work aimed at identifying potential production improvements, which students present to the factory managers at the company at the end of their workshop training period.
To date, Scania has hired five former participants in its summer practical workshop training programme, and one programme participant is currently doing a graduation project at the company.
“The summer programme at Scania gave me a good understanding of the company and of how production looks in the real world, as opposed to schoolbooks. It gave me useful knowledge to be so close to production machinery,” says Emma Skoglund, who has both attended the summer programme and completed a graduation project at Scania and now works there as a pre-production engineer.
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