Introducing the maritime industry to the public and the government, that is the goal of the second edition of the Maritime Week, that will take place between 8 and 17 November 2012. To get the public interested in (working in) the maritime industry, many activities and open days are planned. “Our industry requires new personnel of all ages”, says Mieke Bakker-Mantjes, general manager of Holland Shipbuilding Association. “The Maritime Week is an excellent way to get in the picture.One of the highlights is the national record attempt of maritime guest lectures. “
Originating from the Week of Shipbuilding,which was organised by Holland Shipbuilding Association, in 2011 it was decided to expand the event to the whole maritime industry. “We learned from the first edition of the Maritime Week last year that including the whole maritime industry was a good move”, explains Bakker-Mantjes. “This year even more parties are involved, resulting in activities like a dredging day on 8 November and an education day on inland shipping on 15 November.” Directed by maritime branch organisation Maritime by Holland and executed by Holland Shipbuilding Association, other participants that are active during the Maritime Week are Inland Navigation Promotion, Dutch Association of Dredging Contractors, Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners, water sports association HISWA, Association of Dutch Suppliers in the Oil and Gas Industry, Royal Dutch Navy, Port of Rotterdam and Dutch Fish Product Board.
Maritime Awards Gala
The official kickoff of the Maritime Week 2012 takes place during the Maritime Awards Gala in the Cruise Terminal Rotterdam on 8 November. Approximately 800 maritime professionals will witness four prestigious prizes being awarded that night: VNSI Wim Timmers Award, HME Maritime Innovation Award, KVNR Shipping Award and KNVTS Ship of the Year Award. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen will announce the winners.
Maritime Week shows the dynamic character of the maritime industry
Pre-Maritime Week, the Maritime Innovation Event and the start of the Maritime Hotspots take place on 7 November in Rotterdam (more information about the Maritime Hotspots can be found in Maritime by Holland Magazine 5/2012). Other activities planned during the Maritime Week are several open days at companies and schools and on 12 November, Dutch politicians are invited to join guided tours and presentations at several maritime companies to be informed about the capabilities and challenges in the maritime industry. Next to that, other activities include SpeedSolving Maritime Sessions on 8, 12 and 15 November, where groups of students are challenged to solve an issue of a maritime company, the lecture ‘Smart Fairways’ organised by the Royal Institute of Engineers KIVI NIRIA on 8 November and ‘Pressure Cooker 2013: Port and Maritime’ on 13 November, where students together with professors and professionals brainstorm about several maritime topics.
The goal is to create a tight relationship between educational institutes and the industry resulting in projects executed by the industry, students and educational institutions to use each other’s knowledge and to stimulate the inflow of students to the industry. Something really important, as the maritime industry is craving for new employees. Bakker-Mantjes: “Our goal is to get out there and show the public the dynamics of our industry and the interesting high-tech jobs involved. All sectors are in desperate need of personnel: the shipbuilders, the shipping companies, the ports, you name it, so enough possibilities. We are preparing a round table discussion about the labour market: how to deal with the ageing and juvenilisation? Less and less people are entering the labour market to fill the gaps, how can we handle this? That is why it is important to have many companies participating in the Maritime Week.”
To give more publicity to the maritime industry, the Maritime Week has a new initiative: a national record attempt of maritime guest lectures from 9 to 16 November. “These guest lectures are given to several target groups”, comments Bakker-Mantjes. “For example, we want to tell elementary school children, students and job-seekers about learning and working in the maritime industry to get them enthusiastic about it, as many people don’t know a lot about the many possibilities the maritime industry has to offer.”
Connecting maritime companies and students are of utmost importance for the inflow
Wärtsilä Netherlands is one of the companies participating in the Maritime Week. The company will hold guest lectures to contribute to the record attempt. “Wärtsilä is an important supplier to the maritime industry and we experience that the nature of our activities in Western Europe require more and more other competencies and skills than in the past. That requires different prerequisites of our current and future staff. If we want to be and stay a leading company, we need to make sure that we are able to find employees who enjoy a challenging job at our company and at the same time have the right competencies”, says Diane Tuinebreijer-ten Hove, Director Human Resources Wärtsilä Netherlands. “We want to contribute to making people aware of the fact that the maritime industry is very dynamic and interesting to work in. Therefore, we happily agreed to hold about 15 guest lectures during the Maritime Week. We don’t know yet exactly what the lectures will be about since we strive to align the topics with the wishes of the schools. Possible themes are the working of ship propulsion, electrics and automation or aspects of sailing under difficult weather circumstances.” Next to participating in the Maritime Week, Wärtsilä contributes to maritime education regularly. Tuinebreijerten Hove: “Also during the year, we hold guest lectures and we contribute to a minor, both to share our enthusiasm about our work, but as well to promote an optimal fit between the training materials and the competences needed in the working world.”
Commitment educational institutes
One of the early adapters of the Maritime Week is the STC-Group. Chris ten Hoopen, spokesman of the educational institute explains: “In the build-up to this week STC-Group sends a news letter about the Maritime Week to schools in Rotterdam and its surroundings. In this news letter, we ask to attract attention for the event and the activities. During the Maritime Week, we will give at least 20 guest lectures at several schools and have a stand on education markets to give information. As we have many students who are active in scouting, we asked them to give guest lectures and information about the Maritime Week at the scouting. This year, we had more students signing up for our studies, maybe the Maritime Week contributed to that. “
Gail van den Hanenberg