It’s a two-way thing: skilled and confident employees equal a happy employer. With the ever-increasing demands for a knowledgeable workforce, it has never been more important to have the right skills for the job any of us are assigned to carry out.

Hilda Halvorsen, partner at Din Kompetanse AS in Norway, knows exactly how to provide accessible education for both individuals and organisations. With training ranging from restaurant waiting to pedagogy, and from sales to leadership, Din Kompetanse has a course to suit the subject, and the budget, at the level needed to improve performance and production.

From noticing a need to successfully providing a service

With a background in psychology, and having added a master’s degree in leadership and pedagogy, Hilde worked in education for upwards of 25 years. During this time, she was concerned to notice a group within Norwegian society that was missing out on job opportunities because of a lack of qualifications. She wanted to make it possible for people on lower wages to upskill and feel valued within the workforce.

Together with her two sons, Martin Halvorsen, now educational leader at Din Kompetanse, and Andreas Halvorsen, a professional golfer, she set up Din Kompetanse in 2018. The aim was to specialise in certified courses for adults who had no qualifications. The training needed to be affordable and accessible and provide the absent qualifications for adults who wanted to develop practical skills directly applicable to their working environment.

By providing courses at a price that people could afford even on a low salary, the business saw impressive demand in the first year: over 250 people signed up, and since then the company has gone from strength to strength. In 2021, only two and a half years after setting up the company, they welcomed 600 participants – and with a 96 per cent pass rate, Hilde’s pride in her students and teachers is tangible.

Their values

While making the numbers add up is important for any company, it isn’t Hilde and Martin’s main interest. The three main principles that drive this small and efficient company are: quick response time, inexpensive education and personable training.

Hilde’s teachers, all highly qualified in their subject areas, are specifically selected for their ability to engage with students on their level, while also supporting them at every stage of the training process, through to successfully completing the exam and achieving their desired certificate.

For Din Kompetanse, it is important to have teachers who build encouraging relationships with their students. “I want us to be known as the company where students feel cared for and walk away having gained skills, knowledge and confidence,” says Hilde.

Turning an obstacle into an opportunity

Shortly after Din Kompetanse’s inception in 2018, the Covid-19 pandemic provided an obstacle that meant that face-to-face teaching was no longer possible. However, Hilde and Martin were quickly able to move their courses online in order to carry on providing quality education and training packages, retaining the affordability and making the courses easier to access from most places with an internet connection.

By doing so, they turned an obstacle into an opportunity to provide training to a wider audience. Developing their very own e-learning portal in collaboration with one of their trusted suppliers has also enabled them to tailor-make courses for companies with specific requirements.

The future of Din Kompetanse

The next stage in development has already begun. Growing their portfolio of courses to include accredited Level 4 diploma courses, they are sticking closely to their values. And the courses are provided not only in Norwegian; Din Kompetanse now has the ability to deliver some of their courses in German and English too, with further languages coming on board as they grow.

Their plan for the future? With 12 teachers already recruited, they are hoping to find additional teachers with specific qualifications, people skills and a caring attitude towards their students. As Hilde puts it: “For such a young company, we have achieved a lot in a short time.” She knows that it’s important to take it one step at a time, making sure that everything is done within their principles of inclusivity and affordability.

Asked about their success, Hilde reflects: “I have been good at selecting the right people who have the skills that I don’t.” She appreciates her staff and, with her refreshing attitude to people management, goes on to add that “we all make mistakes sometimes. It’s human, and if anything goes wrong, we’ll fix it. Everyone is important; we are special because we are responsive and take our commitment to all our customers seriously.”

Din Kompetanse AS: Affordable training for an effective workforce

Left: Martin Halvorsen. Right: Hilde Halvorsen.

Facebook: DinKompetanseAS
Instagram: @dinkompetanse

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