Four women pioneers in a male sector

Four women who are new in Sweden are pioneers. They are studying Sfi, and at the same time learning to be machine operators at Yrkesakademin (the Trades Academy) in Höör.


Teacher Dennis Nilsson and Temi J Poulsen. Photo; Inga-Lill Bengtsson

The women and those responsisble for the programme are enthusiastic.

– These women are pioneers. We’re breaking the ice, says Kristian Seger, leader in place at the Academy.

Doinlita Mocanu comes from Rumania.

– I’ve been working as a cleaner, but I want to have a proper job. I feel I can do more, she says.

– I like this job, and I think we women can be creative in it, even though it’s considered a man’s job. I’m enjoying the training.

Rosl Gonealee moved here from Spain five years ago.

– Until now, I’ve spoken mostly Spanish. I worked as a cleaner for four years.

When she started at Sfi in December 2017 she found out about the training as a machine operator.

– So I thought that that training would be just the thing for me. I like driving big machines.

In Spain, just like everywhere else in the world, it’s the men who drive the big machines.

– I think women can do it just as well as men. This training is my chance to get a better job.

Rachida Ibrane. Foto Inga-Lill Bengtsson.

Rachida Ibrane, from Morocco, has worked as a driving insructor and in an old people’s home. She says:

– Ten years ago I saw huge machines like these, and I dreamed of being able to drive one. But there was no training for women in Morocco.

Nothing is impossible for women, if they set their mind on it. I want to show that I can do everything that men can, she says.

Rachida Ibrane thought the machines were enormous to begin with.

– But I’m accustomed to machines. We learn everything about them, how to drive them, how to make minor repairs if something breaks down, she says

Temi J Poulsen from Nigeria likes driving lorries. She says:

– I like the atmosphere and the training.

Why a course for women?

– They say that women drive better and more carefully, which is good for the environment and for the machines, says Kristian Seger.

What is it like to study Swedish and learn a trade at the same time?

– We have good experience of combining Sfi with training for a trade. Here you can learn Swedish better at a practical level, and not just grammar. In this way you come closer to the labour market, he says.

Which machines do you like best?

– All of them, the women answer.

Temi J Poulsen. Photo Inga-Lill Bengtsson

Inga-Lill Bengtsson
Mohamad Kanina


Machine operator training

There is a great need for machine operators in the building sector, for example making roads, digging the foundations for houses, digging ditches, helping to lay cables and so on. The course lasts for eleven months. During training students learn to operate excavators, loaders, backhoe loaders, dumper trucks, bulldozers and road graders.