Carve out a bright future with VARD

Christian Utvik, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at VARD Group, explains what VARD has to offer young professionals, highly qualified craftspeople and specialists looking for a rewarding career in a forward-leaning organization that values creativity and a can-do attitude.

29. November 2023

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- There may be readers who aren't entirely familiar with VARD and what we do, so I want to clarify that first of all, says Utvik. - We not only offer highly advanced marine engineering solutions but we are also the only shipbuilder globally that can conceive, design and construct all types of complex specialized vessels from high-spec expedition cruise ships to naval vessels, tailor-made fishing vessels and advanced offshore support vessels.

Trademark holistic approach

- This integrated value chain covers the different shipbuilding stages from concept through basic and detailed design, construction, commissioning, testing, delivery and last but not least support during the warranty period, Utvik adds.

With group headquarters in Ålesund, VARD's global footprint synthesizes the expertise of over 8,000 employees across Norway, Romania, Vietnam, Singapore, Croatia, Italy, India, Canada, US, Poland and Estonia. In addition to modern shipyards, the group includes Vard Design & Engineering (ship design/naval architecture), Vard Electro (electronics including complete systems for power management, propulsion, automation and navigation), Vard Interiors (accommodations, piping and HVAC systems) and Seaonics (handling equipment and specialised deck gear).

- As a leader of maritime innovation and quality, VARD's history spans over a century and we are a great place for engineers committed to shaping the future of maritime operations. Every vessel we deliver is a symbol of our quality and culture, Utvik says.

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Focus on talent development

In recent years VARD has transformed the way it develops talent.- We invest in our people and value people as our strongest asset. We're always on the lookout for ambitious talents to join our team, both those with a maritime operational and engineering background and in software development/programming, says Utvik.

He invites interested candidates to consider the following:

  • Do you want to work for a high-tech operation that provides freedom to create and a strong sense of belonging?

  • Do you want to forge a career that provides ample learning challenges and opportunities to take on responsibility as part of a dynamic team?

  • Amid the global push to decarbonize, would you like to make an impact by working at the leading edge of sustainable maritime technology?

  • Do you want to work for a company that invests in the future while supporting a strong local maritime cluster?

  • Are you interested in work and development opportunities across borders?

The following reasons may make VARD the right choice if you answered yes to all the above. - Then it's up to each individual to decide if we're a good match, Utvik says.

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No better place to learn

In Utvik's view, the single most compelling reason to join VARD is the opportunity to learn the trade of shipbuilding from A to Z. - Here you can gain experience across our value chain and learn how things are done the right way. We work together to tailor your career and you can transfer easily between our different entities. This kind of exposure is unique in the shipbuilding world. Working on physical assets can also be rewarding for software engineers who get to see the tangible results of their work.

Utvik emphasizes that, for those who suspect that shipbuilding is a conservative industry that is hesitant to change with the times, this definitely not the case at VARD. - Other might stick to tried and tested solutions; we focus on innovations that are both operationally and cost effective. Through cultivating an adaptive mindset, we have morphed into a high-tech operation focused on the latest developments in automation, remote control, electronics and alternative fuels. Our mission is to automate the next generation of ships in similar fashion to the vehicle and aviation industries, he says.

Rethinking makes all the difference

VARD is a hands-on workplace rooted in practical experience. - Our commitment to fostering innovation has resulted in a culture where engineers are encouraged to think beyond the conventional and to turn great ideas into reality. Creativity thrives at VARD and we typically achieve that in multidisciplinary teams across entities and locations, says Utvik.

In partnership with forward-thinking shipowners, VARD is also a primary enabler of the green shift in maritime. - We're committed to delivering energy-efficient ships with the lowest possible operational carbon footprint, says Utvik. - Our commitment to sustainability also lies behind our significant investment in R&D. We want to constantly push the boundaries of what's possible, and our engineers are at the forefront of revolutionizing the industry. VARD is right for anyone who wants to put their skills to work producing eco-friendly vessels that are good for the planet.

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Cluster heavyweight

VARD truly believes in the future of shipbuilding right here in Møre & Romsdal. - We're a major facilitator of the huge local maritime cluster in our region, and work hard with partner suppliers to support activities that champion local expertise, says Utvik.

The group's modern headquarters are located in an enviable waterfront location in Ålesund city centre, which is famous for its Art Nouveau buildings, while Vard Electro's premises in Tennfjord were designed by the world-famous architecture firm Snøhetta.

Nestled between stunning fjords and spectacular mountains, Ålesund is also a student city and home to the maritime faculty of the prestigious Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The city offers great quality of life; whether it's hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, there is ample scope to find inspiration outside the office, Utvik adds.

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Spreading your wings

For the right people VARD offers competitive terms and excellent development opportunities. - Because of our global footprint you may get to spend time abroad at one of our yards in Romania or Vietnam, in one our large design offices in Croatia and Canada or at a subsidiary office elsewhere. You can also expand your horizons outside VARD within the Fincantieri ecosystem, says Utvik.

- VARD isn't just a job; it's a chance to contribute to an ongoing story of maritime excellence. I hope this inspires you to join us in carrying forward a tremendous legacy, Utvik concludes.