INITIATIVE
AWARD

Owner of the Funen factory Lykkegaard A/S, Karsten Lykkegaard, receives the LO Southern Funen Initiative Award, in particular for his effort to find apprenticeships and internships for young people.

Karsten Lykkegaard, Managing Director of Lykkegaard A/S, was just granted the LO (the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions) Southern Funen Initiative Award. One convincing reason is Lykkegaard’s commitment to find apprenticeships and internships for young people.

Ferritslev: – I have not yet decided how to spend the money. I have the cheque at home – I just need to find a way to the bank to cash it.

62 year-old Karsten Lykkegaard starts laughing and points out that he hasn’t held a cheque in his hands for a long time. A real cheque.

– But it feels nice. It is always great when someone appreciates your work. The honour is what matters the most, he says.

For many years, being the company owner of Lykkegaard A/S in Ferritslev, he has focused on finding apprenticeships and internships for young people. His initiative is one of the reasons why he received the LO Southern Funen Initiative Award – an honour accompanied by a cheque for 5,000 Danish kroner.

– It is important that companies take responsibility to train our young people. Both the easy ones and the not so easy ones to handle. It is not okay to leave out a whole group – all young people should have the chance to get educated, Karsten Lykkegaard explains.

His great grandfather did the same

More than 25 years ago, he took over the family business, and they have always had many apprentices.

– And my father before me. Just for the fun of it I checked some old documents. And it turned out that my great grandfather hired our first apprentice in 1903. In fact, he (the apprentice, Editor’s note) won a prize for diligence; very cool indeed, Karsten Lykkegaard continues.

Today, the company goal is to have 40 per cent apprentices among the staff – also young people who need extra attention and support to complete their education.

– It sounds like I’m praising myself – but we are actually earning money from our apprentices. What is takes is to show the young people that we believe in them and to help them make their education plan. We do not just put a broom in their hands to sweep the floor or ask them to push a green button. We challenge them and give them responsibility, giving them the power to grow with the work, the 62 year-old CEO points out.

– Saying that young people today have long hair, nose piercings and don’t want to work is not true. The great majority wants to work and learn.

Selfish and short-sighted

It is not only in the business arena that 62 year-old Lykkegaard works to support young people. He is also a member of the Faaborg-Midtfyn Business Council, and according to LO part of a working group with focus on the establishment of apprenticeships and internships in the local companies.

– Everybody needs craftsmen. But some companies tell the young people only to come back when they are properly skilled. There is nothing more short-sighted or selfish than this approach, for it is our social responsibility to educate our young people, Karsten Lykkegaard underlines pointing out that in fact, they see a small rise in the number of apprenticeships and internships for young people.

But …

– I’m not afraid to say this – to say what I really mean. Companies like ours – owner-managed – feel a greater responsibility than large organisations with a foreign manager who does not have any connection to the local community. It is obvious to see that this is the way it is. It adds meaning when we meet the parents of the young people at the local bakery store or on the local football field.

Million profit company

With Karsten Lykkegaard leading the way, the Funen company has transformed from a traditional machine factory into an international company specialised in propeller pumps for large industries, land-based fish farms, power stations and drainage of vast areas.

Karsten Lykkegaard has turned the family company into an international company with customers in more than 50 countries.

The propeller pumps are exported to more than 50 countries across the world. And the series of million kroner profits continues in the 2019/2020 financial report soon to be published through the Danish Business Authority.

The financial report is by no means affected by the corona crisis.

– We felt some effect of the corona crisis after the summer holiday, but the closing of our accounts was on 30th June. And it will be one of the best results we have ever produced, Karsten Lykkegaard says with satisfaction.

In the last report, Lykkegaard A/S delivered a result before tax of three million Danish kroner.

From Fyens Stiftstidende, 13th September 2020

by René Vaaben Johansen rvjo@faa.dk

from the Faaborg-Midtfyn Business Council, 7th September 2020

LO Southern Funen just gave their Initiative Award to Karsten Lykkegaard, Managing Director of Lykkegaard A/S

The award was announced at the LO Southern Funen Meeting of Representatives and includes a cheque for 5,000 Danish kroner.

“Karsten Lykkegaard makes a special contribution to support young people, not just in his own company, but also in the local community as part of the Business Council and as a member of a working group going systemically for the establishment of apprenticeships and internships in companies in the municipality. They are working closely with the labour market partner LO, employee representatives and the municipality”, the announcement explains as part of the appointment.

Last year, it all summed up to 620 internships in the municipality, and the target is to set up an internship guarantee in the municipality for young people who want to take their education on the local labour market. Several apprenticeships have already been offered at Lykkegaard A/S.

“For many years, Karsten Lykkegaard has shown the way by accepting apprentices and securing them both an education and recruiting them for his company. In the company that he manages they have decided that 40% of the staff must be apprentices.”

Furthermore, Lykkegaard is praised for accepting young people with a need for extra attention, support and help to enable them to harvest personal victories that will bring them a good education.

The company was the winner of the Company of the Year Award in 2017 in the Faaborg-Midtfyn Business Council. It was precisely for taking a large social responsibility, but also for their commitment in the local Ferritslev community.

Karsten Lykkegaard explains:

“I have two reasons for taking apprentices again and again: It is manpower, and they are good helpers – and they add new ideas, young energy to the staff and help us secure our own recruitment pool. But I also do it because it is our social responsibility to secure education for young people. A local commitment that everyone should give.”

The company works with climate solutions and support sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions in their production and products. Another focus is well-being, job satisfaction and a good physical and mental working environment among their staff.

The company manufactures pump solutions. Propeller pumps for aquaculture, industry and drainage represented in projects across all continents and in more than 50 countries.

Right now, there is special focus on storm water discharge, drainage of open land and flooded areas and the climate challenges and climate proofing demands that we will all face in the future.

Read the article: The Faaborg-Midtfyn Business Council

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