Telenor Open Mind: open doors, broader perspectives

To serve their entire customer base as best they can, modern businesses rely on perspectives, skills and insights from across the societal spectrum. Telenor is no different.

Telenor Open Mind is a unique job training programme that provides people with physical disabilities or mental health challenges a chance for employment. It is currently operational in Telenor Norway, Pakistan and Sweden (in Telenor Norway’s case, Open Mind features an additional stream which aids immigrants from non-European countries gain access to career opportunities).

The programme welcomes applications* from those with some form of physical disability, hearing or vision impairment or mental health-related challenges. Ultimately, the objective of Open Mind is to give the participants the opportunity to gain valuable experience that will strengthen their chances of gaining access to working life, through relevant work practice and training.

Open Mind participant, Ana Paula Maia Tanajura Ellefsen, and leader of Open Mind Norway, Ingrid Ihme.

Open Mind in Norway

This is where Open Mind began. Launched in 1996, Open Mind in Norway is a two-fold programme that serves both people with disabilities and non-EU immigrants to the country (this second component was launched in 2010). Since its inception, it has welcomed 316 participants, and has been helmed by the inimitable Ingrid Ihme since 1998.

Described by one former participant as “a platform where you can build your self-esteem and learn how to work around challenges”, Open Mind in Norway has welcomed 306 participants in its 23 years – 245 by the programme for the disabled, and 61 by the immigrant programme of which 51% and 73% respectively have gone on to secure full-time positions inside or outside the company. Intakes for Open Mind in Norway are held twice a year, in spring and autumn. Current subject relevance areas for applicants to the programme include IT, Telecom, HR, Economics, Administration, Sales, Networking, Business and Communications.

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Open Mind in Pakistan

Since its inception in 2013, Telenor Pakistan Open Mind has welcomed 73 participants. Fifty-three of those positions went on to be placed within the company and other likeminded organisations. Led by Tayyaba Arshi since 2015, Open Mind in Pakistan invites persons with disabilities to build their confidence and gain valuable professional experience. This program aligns closely with Telenor’s commitment to further build up a diverse and inclusive workforce, where all employees can realise their true potential.

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Open Mind in Sweden

Telenor Sweden’s Open Mind programme aims to act as a springboard into professional life for persons with disabilities by supporting ambitious participants in developing their professional competence with relevant workplace training. Since its beginning in 2007 the Swedish programme has seen 75% of participants find professional placements.

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*Potential candidates can apply through their local Telenor Open Mind office. Candidates outside the countries where the programme is offered are not eligible to apply.

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Ingrid’s Open Mind