Building operative ready for future building projects

Anders Juul Johansen

”I chose a career as building operative because it sounded exciting and challenging. Before I started on the building operative studies, I worked for 18 months as a construction worker within concrete renovation. I liked the work, but with my training certificate, I can document my skills – and this gives me security in future.

My workday at Aarsleff is varied and challenging. I’ve been working on projects like the CHP Plant Amagerværket and Copenhagen Airports, and at the moment, we’re working on the Copenhagen Light Rail, where we’ve extended a pedestrian tunnel under Ring 3 near Glostrup Hospital. When we’re working on a project, I get the opportunity to participate in all processes, such as installing the formwork, tying the reinforcement and carrying out the concreting work. It’s exciting to participate in the different work tasks and see how people, machinery and materials go hand in hand to create the buildings which surround us each day. The only thing I’m not allowed to is to operate the crane, as I don’t have a crane certificate.

We have a strong team spirit in our crew, and several of my colleagues have many years of experience – more than my years of age. They don’t mind sharing their experience, and they don’t mind explaining one more time, if there’s something that you don’t understand. As long as you use your head and show a drive to learn.

I enjoy the responsibility that I’m assigned with. Often, I just get a drawing and then it’s up to me to find out how the job is carried out in the best possible way. That’s good preparation for life after school.”

Construction operative in the right place

Jonas Melin

”As far back as in primary school, I knew that I wanted to work with my hands instead of sitting behind a desk. I started as a construction worker in Aarsleff, and after 18 months – and a good dialogue with the foreman – I took the plunge and applied for the construction operative studies.

I mainly work with sewer separation in and around Aarhus as part of a framework agreement with the utility company Aarhus Vand. But I’ve also participated in the work of several equalizing reservoirs, e.g. a stormwater reservoir functioning as a forest lake. I’ve been assigned to the framework agreement during my entire apprenticeship, but it hasn’t been boring at all. The workday involves a lot of challenges, and even though the work tasks seem to be the same, the projects are never the same.

At Aarsleff, we get along really well across age groups and professions. The experienced colleagues are good at helping and sharing their knowledge, and at the same time, they are attentive to new solutions.

Soon, I’ll finish my apprenticeship, and after working at Aarsleff, I’m convinced that a career as construction operative is the right way for me. I earn slightly less during my apprenticeship, than I did as a construction worker. But with my certificate, I’m better positioned, so to me it’s an investment in the future.

The office apprentice never gets bored

Karen Viggódóttir has been an office apprentice since 2015

I knew Aarsleff quite well before I was employed, so I knew it was a big company where I would get the chance to try different things. From day one it became clear that it was not a place where you get bored.

At the office I am considered part of the team, and I don’t just sit in front of the computer with routine work. We each have our areas of responsibility – e.g. I keep track of our OHS representatives, register weekly time sheets, update employment files and handle invoicing – but my work is very varied, and I also come up with new assignments. E.g. I have the administrative responsibility for our building operative apprentices during their training.

I am also involved in the Senior Club for Aarsleff's retired employees. It is a lot of fun. We have site visits and a general meeting each year, and we send them birthday presents. I like when we go on trips, and some of the senior employees tell funny stories about the old days.

One of the best things about my workplace is my colleagues. They are nice and good at providing professional input. We are a team of five girls in the administration, and they have all given me a warm welcome.

I look forward to completing my education as office assistant. There are lots of opportunities to develop professionally, and if a permanent position shows up with Aarsleff, I would accept it right away.

Engineer with a liking for water

Morten Rex Wittig, trainee in 2018 – now employed as an engineer

Before I started as a trainee, I had heard a lot of positive things from my network about Per Aarsleff A/S, so I decided to contact the company at the job fair for engineers at Navitas in Aarhus. Here, we talked about the company’s projects and the opportunities that were relevant for me. Based on this, I applied for a trainee job and was employed in the marine department in Aarsleff’s Copenhagen office.

During my engineer studies, I specialised in geostatics which is generally about the interaction between structures and surrounding materials – i.e. soil and water. In my spare time I enjoy sailing and surfing, so I know and understand the power of the sea. That’s why I was very pleased when I found out that I was going to spend most of my trainee period working on the large-scale expansion of Port of Rønne on Bornholm.

In the first phase of the port expansion in Rønne, I worked together with the senior project manager, and I was involved in site meetings, contact with consulting engineers and production. During my trainee period, it was possible to adjust my work to my current skills and to the areas in which I wanted to specialise. My general impression was that it was possible to assume a high degree of responsibility although I was “just” a trainee – all I had to do was to say “Yes”.

After graduating, I contacted my Aarsleff network and I was employed in Marine Construction, West on 1 February 2020. My first project as an engineer is the expansion of Port of Skagen. The project is divided into a number of sub-projects and I’m involved in the establishment of pier head and vertical drain as well as casting of capping beam. I have also been assigned with staff responsibility in the production.

As one of Denmark’s largest contracting companies, Aarsleff has its own barges and heavy machinery allowing the company to undertake large-scale projects. The atmosphere at Aarsleff is a good balance between a relaxed environment and a responsible approach to the work, providing the framework for an exciting workplace.