During 35 hours the candidate for an examination will plan, execute and document the work that has been completed. The task is given by an examination board, which also determines the grade when the test is completed. The grades one can receive are "not passed", "passed", and "passed with excellence".
Arve Berge (31) is the last one of the six apprentices that passed the examination with excellence. On January 12 he got the certificate for being an approved carpenter.
"I completed my first examination as an electrician in 2008. The carpenter examination I undertook as an external candidate," says Berge, which is now receiving strong recommendations from friends and acquaintances that he should also take the exam for plumbing.
One can take the examination as an external candidate if one has versatile and sufficient experience in the subject. Usually the requirement is five years in training before one can take the carpenter examination, and before this a theoretical exam is required for moving on to the hands-on, final one.
Berge will contunue as an employee in Omega Byggeservice, together with two of those who also passed their examinations in 2011 and 2012 work. Three of the others who passed their exam via Omega Byggeservice now works other places or are continuing education.
Terje Berge (27) who passed his examination in 2010, has taken additional education and now work as a technical constructor at XL Bygg Berge Sag.
Tore Stople (24) also works at XL Bygg Berge Sag and passed his examination in 2013.
Two years later, Jørgen Habbestad (23) had his try at the exam and passed. He has gone two years on vocational school in Bergen, and is now attending a vocational school in Kongsberg, pursuing a degree within Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Wellbeing and responsibility on the workplace are two factors that the carpenters emphasize as important for a good apprentice company.
"And that we got to participate in everything and learned the processes from the start. We don't learn as much when we are only set to do the easy tasks," says Tore Stople.
All four emphasize that it is important to complete the carpenter examination, given the nature of the building industry today.
"You will get far with having a certificate no matter what subject you have specialized in. That opens for new roads later on and for continuing education," says Terje Berge.
Apprentice manager, Leif Magne Berge, is proud and happy to see the results of the apprentices.
"Omega Byggservice accepts new apprentices every other year, so that the apprentices we already have can go the entire apprentice run before we take inn new ones. Our newest apprentice has been with us for six months now," says Berge.
"Passed with excellence" is a difficult grade to achieve, and with 66% of the apprentices in Omega Byggservice having achived the top grade, is it both an honor for the company and the apprentices. The company, which has eight carpenters and Leif Magne Berge as CEO, is a member of the apprentice and training office, Haugaland Opplæringskontor.
Finding national numbers for results on carpenter examinations is not easy. In three regions, 10-15 percent have received "passed with excellence".In a national overview from the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, the carpenter subject is not included. Building and construction is the category that lies closest, and 21,1 percent received top grades in 2016.
Haugaland Opplæringskontor's numbers show that with all training and apprentice fields gathered, 23 percent of exams were passed with excellence in average since 2012.
"The results on the exams for the apprentices in Omega Byggeservice are at an unusually high level, and it shows that it is not necessarily the size of the apprentice place that determines the outcome. What I am most impressed by in my job, is all the skilled and engaged apprentice managers in the different companies that are capable of being good teachers without having any educational education," says Bjørn Johannessen in Haugaland Opplæringskontor.
For training and apprentice offices, apprentices and apprentice workplaces it is now high season. For many, March 1 is a crucial date. A new tool for all parties in the Haugaland region was released just before New Year's and is an online portal for apprentices; finnfag.no is already taken in use by many local companies.