New apprenticeship discipline at Aibel

X-ray, ultrasound and magnetic powder. These may not sound like the sort of things Aibel would normally use, but they are actually key elements in day-to-day life for two of our new apprentices.

NDT apprentices Sara Solvig Bårdsen and Adrian Stange Nolasco check the quality of welds with varied methods.

Aibel is now accepting apprentices in yet another discipline, NDT, which stands for non-destructive testing. Two new apprentices are currently being trained to examine welding quality using the methods mentioned above.

Aibel currently employs 28 inspectors in its NDT department. Many of these are welders who have undertaken courses and further education to become certified NDT inspectors. In 2021, Tobias Mathiesen was admitted as the first NDT apprentice at Aibel and he has now received his certificate of apprenticeship.

“It’s a great job. It’s both demanding and varied and I am involved in a lot of different things. It’s not all about walking around the halls, I also spend time in the office preparing documentation. Ultrasound is quite an advanced method and I really enjoy working with it,” he says.

Ellen Tvergrov is responsible for mechanical engineering apprentices at Aibel and explains that the company always keep an eye on new apprenticeship disciplines.

“When we realised that NDT had become an apprenticeship field, we applied to become an apprenticeship company in that area too. Those who already worked in NDT at Aibel responded positively, as it is a great advantage to be able to train people yourself if you are planning to employ them. The more disciplines we can offer, the more attractive Aibel becomes as an apprenticeship company,” Tvergrov states.


Mirrors are one of the tools NDT inspectors use to examine welds that are hard to reach.

Adrian keeps his mirrors close to the heart.

For those hard to reach places mirrors do the job.

Interesting methods

In September, two new NDT inspector apprentices joined Aibel, Sara Solvig Baardsen and Adrian Stange Nolasco.

“When I first started reading about NTD, I thought it sounded pretty cool, so I decided to apply for an apprenticeship. I enjoy how the work is carried out and the way we test. It’s great that we can use such advanced methods to check welds. X-ray and ultrasound are test methods that take an in-depth look at the materials, not only the surface,” Adrian S. Nolasco says.

The NDT apprentices undertake assignments in all of the halls and become well known at the yard in Haugesund.

“There’s always something new and you never end up doing the same thing every day. You’re never quite sure what you will be doing tomorrow. There’s a lot to learn and we get to see a lot of what goes on at the yard because we’re moving around so much,” Sara S. Baardsen adds.


Sara Solvig Baardsen sprays magnetic powder on a weld before using a device that forms a magnetic field.

The way in which the magnetic powder accumulates indicates whether or not the weld is solid.

Adrian Stange Nolasco analyses an x-ray image of a weld.

Essential for both quality and safety

A fairly minor weld fault can be enough to weaken a structure significantly, the two new apprentices explain. The work on inspecting the welds is therefore essential for both the quality of the end product and for safety. Both apprentices and Tobias Mathiesen enjoy the responsibilities they have.

“It’s great to feel that you’re contributing to something important. It’s not a job where you can be sloppy. We adhere to established criteria and standards and, as long as you follow these, it will be fine,” Mathiesen says.

Do you want to become an apprentices? Learn more.

53 new apprentices

In September 2023, 53 new apprentices joined Aibel: 29 in mechanical disciplines and 24 in electrical disciplines. The apprentices are based in Haugesund, Mandal, Kollsnes and Hammerfest.

Aibel takes on apprentices in the following fields:

  • Welding
  • Industrial pipefitting
  • Sheet metal work
  • Industrial machinery mechanics
  • CNC - machining technology
  • Industrial painting
  • Logistics
  • NDT inspections
  • Industrial surface treatment
  • Electrical engineering
  • Automation
  • Telecommunications
  • Heating, ventilation and sanitation pipefitting