Sivert Miguel Helland (28) worked on shipyards and built and repaired large vessels. But he always dreamt of the day that he was going to be working as sea. A dream that was influenced by his grandfather’s exciting histories about whaling. Last summer he started as an Engine Cadet at Østensjø Rederi and he already feels at home on board Edda Freya.

The interview takes place while the vessel is alongside in Florø. The 28-year-old from Sansdøya can boast with certificates of apprenticeship, both as an industrial mechanic and industrial plumber, and he is thus a flexible professional. Now his skills as an Engineer will be sharpened, and Sivert enjoys being in a learning position. He absorbs all he can learn from the experienced Engineers and he is surrounded by many good mentors.

– So far I have had a steep learning curve. All theory I’ve learned at Fagskolen in Ålesund is now being tested in practice. I receive good training from the Engineers on board and I undertake many different tasks and maintenance on board. If I need any help, there are always good answers at hand. When I worked at the shipyard, I was responsible for the apprentices, and it is a good experience to now be one myself. Edda Freya is a large and specialized vessel with a lot of different systems, so I really get opportunities to get into interesting and challenging subjects, says Sivert, who started his cadet period on 30 June 2020. He brags about the fellowship and the atmosphere onboard Edda Freya and he has been feeling well taken care of since day one.

That the environment onboard is so good, has been a positive surprise. If you think about it, there are about 100 persons you are interacting with, in a relatively limited area, for periods of several weeks. There are many things that need to match. All departments communicate well with each other, and one gets an impression of a good comradeship onboard, independent of the departments. That creates the well-being that is so important at a workplace he explains.

Sivert has a good knowledge of vessels, not the least because of his previous job at Myklebust Verft. It has given him knowledge of the systems onboard and how they are built. This experience makes him see different solutions and, in addition, has good knowledge of parts and components that are used. My certificates of apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic and industrial plumber included training in welding, among other things, something I made good use of my first trip onboard Edda Freya. At this moment I am much involved in a pipe-bending assignment in which we will replace out a pipe system with stainless steel, the 28-year-old explains, who had to smile when he found out he was older than his supervisor.

My supervisor on board joined my job interview and he also went to Fagskolen in Ålesund. With this, he has good knowledge about what I learned during my studies, and what I need to learn on board. It is somewhat unusual that the cadet is older than the supervisor, but it has not been any disadvantage yet, he smiles.

He describes himself as a curious and adventurous person. Seamans life has always attracted him and it was this clear ambition that made him start the engineering officer education at the Fagskolen in Ålesund two years ago. Now he has a contract with Østensjø until next summer. Wages have never been my largest drive, good knowledge is something I strive for. Engineering is a profession that requires much knowledge and understanding of systems, and it has room for further learning after this education, says Sivert, who lives with his wife in Ulsteinvik.

He is a real outdoor man with a great interest in hunting and fishing, and he already had nice experiences in the outdoors during his first leave as a cadet. He has a hunting dog and competes actively in shooting, and he is a leader in the hunters’ and fishermen’s association, both locally and regionally. He has the responsibility of training new hunters as well.

Even though you are missing a part of the family life at home during a year, you still get opportunities to do so many other things when you are home. I do not have any doubt that the seafarer’s rotation suits well for an outdoor man as I am, he says.