Job opportunities on land and at sea:
Port of Hirtshals invites school students inside the maritime industry

Hirtshals and its environs abound with educational and job opportunities within the maritime sector, but as a primary school student you do not necessarily have an overview of the many opportunities. That is why Port of Hirtshals has teamed up with maritime companies in the city and Lundergårdsskolen in Hjørring in the Brobyg Nord project, which for the third year in a row aims to increase students' knowledge of what a future within the maritime industry might look like.

How do you sail a ferry? And how do you even get passengers to buy tickets for a ferry ride? This is just some of the things that students in an 8th grade at Lundergårdsskolen in Hjørring will have the opportunity to try during the next two years through the Brobyg Nord project. It is the third year in a row that the project has been running, and the experiences from the first years have been good:

- The students get a much deeper insight into and knowledge of the companies through this type of partnership, which extends over a two-year period. It is enormously instructive for the student to find out what is hidden behind the facades of the large buildings at the port, and it helps to open their eyes to what opportunities for both jobs and education exist on and around the port. They simply broaden their horizons thoroughly, explains René Fredsgaard, a teacher at Lundergårdsskolen.

 Some of the students visited EnTech Marine
Some of the students visited EnTech Marine

Brobyg Nord is a partnership between Port of Hirtshals, Norway's second largest ferry company Fjord Line and Lundergårdsskolen in Hjørring and runs over a two-year period. During the project, the students get the opportunity to become familiar with the many educational and job opportunities within the maritime industry, including company visit, company participation in class, internship, study tours and, in the longer term, possible exchanges between Norwegian and Danish students.

- Business life in and around Hirtshals occasionally experiences challenges in recruiting students and new employees - partly because knowledge of the opportunities within the maritime industry in North Jutland is too low in some places. We would like to remedy this by giving primary school students a concrete insight into everyday life, for example at a port or at a shipping company, explains Ditte Gerstrøm Sørensen, marketing manager at Port of Hirtshals.
Other students visited Hirtshals Yard
Other students visited Hirtshals Yard

The students from Lundergårdsskolen have just been on company visits to Hirtshals Yard, EnTech Marine, MarineShaft, Fjord Line Freight and Port of Hirtshals. The students themselves chose who they would like to visit. The selected companies focus on, among other things, craftsmanship, customs clearance, freight forwarding and administration. It is especially the opportunity to experience everyday life in a company that is very valuable for the students, explains René Fredsgaard:

- On a previous course, the students tried to organize the loading of a ferry. Among other things, the students had to plan where on the ferry to place the trailers in relation to entry and exit and weight distribution. It was a task that was praised a lot afterwards, precisely because it was a concrete task that was based on what a ferry company does, explains René Fredsgaard.

During the two years of the project, the students have a total of eight modules that have different themes, e.g., local job opportunities, loading/unloading, language and communication, warehouse management, management, environment, and tourism. Alongside the eight modules, teaching in primary school subjects such as Danish, science, physics, biology, and history lays the groundwork for the activities in the course.

In the long term, the ambition is to scale up the collaboration to include an entire class and to collaborate with even more companies. At the same time, it may be an opportunity to introduce the maritime professions to the students even earlier - perhaps already from the 6th grade.