Helene Fridell


"It’s kind of like detective work"

Arthritis forced Helene Fridell to take a disability pension – but Ljunghäll gave her a second chance at working life.

“If you show initiative, you can develop here,” says Helene, who currently works as a purchaser. 

Helene Fridell is a certified nursing assistant, but took a job in the processing department at Ljunghäll when her family moved to Tuna from Stockholm. A few years later, she began to suffer from osteoarthritis – and couldn’t continue working in production.

"I had to go on disability. But I definitely didn’t want to be on sic leave; instead, I went to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and said, ‘help me!’ And then this job in the purchasing department became available.”

Could she really manage to work with computers and numbers? When Helene came home and told her children she intended to start working as a purchaser, they shook their heads doubtfully. But Helene accepted the challenge

– and she has never regretted her decision.

"It’s incredibly fun, and sometimes it’s kind of like detective work. I’m a supply purchaser, which means I’m in charge of purchasing everything from pens to packaging to chemicals and such that are needed in the factory.”  

The mission – and the major challenge – is to make sure that everyone has everything they need to keep production running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"You might not think that production can grind to a halt because we’re out of some tiny cog, but it really can," says Helene. 

Sometimes she can receives more unusual types of orders.

“The strangest thing was probably when I was asked to order a bird-catcher. It turned out that we had a problem with pigeons on the roof. ‘Find something we can put on the roof that can catch the pigeons,’ read the order. At ties like that, Google really comes in handy. I found an old man in Dalarna who could help us, and managed to get of few of his products here.”

Helene feels that Ljunghäll has given her with the opportunity to develop both as a person and in her professional role.

"It’s a very nice place to work. Many people think Ljunghäll is a dirty, dark and scuzzy, factory but it absolutely is not. I think a lot of younger people have the wrong idea about the industry. It’s very modern here and the vibe is positive. Everyone says hello; people chat with each other and are friendly. I only planned to stay for a year – and now I’ve been here for 19...”



No special training is required to become a purchaser, but there are many courses and education programs in the field, both at vocational colleges and at adult education centers.

Helene Fridell

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