Members’ Corner – Making sure apprentices have a positive transition to working life

Welcoming apprentices into working life can turn out to be a profitable investment. Nelfo, the Norwegian association of electrical contractors, has collected 6 tips on how employers can give them a good start to their career. Every autumn, thousands of new apprentices will be ready to take the step from school into working life. This is an exciting time for both the apprentices themselves and the company.

A good start

There is a lot to learn for apprentices. They have to adapt to a new daily routine, which entails arriving on time, getting to know new colleagues, learning the company culture, how to take care of customers, risk assessments and training. It is important to have patience and at the same time support apprentices so that they smoothly transition to working life and turn this into a positive experience.


To become good operatives, apprentices need attention and follow-up. Unfortunately, statistics show that apprentices account for 30% of reported electrical accidents. The person who will supervise the new apprentice should be selected carefully. This person should have an appropriate professional experience and display good practices, which can put apprentices on the right track for the rest of their professional career. It could be useful to reach out early to the person who will supervise the apprentice so that this person can prepare in advance for this important responsibility.

Health, safety & environment

A thorough early introduction to health, safety & environment (HSE) is an important investment. Good HSE practices will contribute to good results, prevent accidents and lead to fewer mistakes. Indeed, it is common knowledge that when HSE practices are not implemented, it can cost both employees and the company.

Apprentices could start with a learning period to take the most important courses and trainings. For instance, many start with a course covering safety in work on and operation of electrical installations. Other trainings may include working at heights or using a range of tools and instruments. Personal protective equipment and work clothes should be part of the earliest trainings and apprentices should know about which HSE procedures are important and where to find them. In order to early get familiar with digital tools, the apprentice should be registered in all the IT systems before starting the apprentice period.

In addition, an induction meeting with the general manager and other relevant managers is recommended to, among others, go over the company culture, what the apprentices can expect from the company and what the company expects from the apprentices. A good start will have an effect for the rest of the apprenticeship and will also affect the reputation of the company which could be an advantage the next time it seeks to recruit new apprentices.

We have collected 6 tips on how the company can make the apprentices’ start in working life a positive experience:

  1. Carefully plan the apprentices’ inception
  2. Turn apprentices into good operatives with quality supervision
  3. Choose the apprentices’ supervisors according to their educational skills
  4. Invest in the apprentices – you’ll reap the benefits later
  5. Be mindful of the tasks you assign to your apprentices
  6. Make sure apprentices feel as safe at work as everyone else

Useful links (in Norwegian):