Train for shipping

The struggle to attract more young Danish people to the shipping industry is now causing shipping companies and trade unions to join forces and offer a more versatile education to become an able seaman (AB). Among other things, it will be possible to travel long-distance with A.P. Møller – Maersk


More young Danish people should open their eyes to a life at sea and the opportunities it offers.

Therefore, a number of Danish shipping companies have teamed up with the organisation Metal Maritime to knit together a more attractive internship program for future AB’s.

As something new A.P. Møller – Maersk will offer interested young people internships of 10-12 weeks duration on their ocean-going container ships.

It is extremely important for us to have access to people with the right skills and qualifications. This applies not just to Maersk, but to the entire maritime industry. We lack manpower, and therefore it is important for us to take responsibility and help educate as many young people as possible,” says Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, Executive Vice President, A.P. Møller – Mærsk.

With the new scheme, the youngsters on the ship’s assistant training will have the opportunity to get their sailing time on several different ship types in multiple shipping companies via an internship coordinated by Danish Shipping.

Danish Metal has been open to a new approach and put together a collective agreement which both ensures good conditions for the students while at the same time it provides the flexibility needed to allow students to switch between a number of different shipping companies during their internship.

It is a great advantage that the young people can combine their education via several shipping companies. In this way, they can get a taste of how broad the profession is. They get their qualifications put together according to what is in demand. When many shipping companies come together in this way, it guarantees that we can offer young people a fixed but flexible education,” says Dansk Metals chairman Claus Jensen.

Danish Shipping has a hope that many young people will take advantage of this new opportunity, as they are ready to knit the internships together:

We are in fierce competition with other industries for young people’s attention, but with the new internship scheme we offer an education that many others can match. If we are to have enough seafarers to accomplish Denmark’s ambitious plans for the expansion of offshore wind as well as maintain Denmark’s position as one of the world’s largest maritime nations, then it requires that we train more people for shipping. Therefore, I hope and believe that this new opportunity will attract more young people,” says Anne H. Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping.

To be admitted to the new ship’s assistant training, it is required that you have passed the initial part of your basic maritime training (GMU), e.g., on board one of the school ships (George Stage or DANMARK) or at one of the maritime schools, HF Maritime or Maritim STX. Approx. 470 young people pass annually the initial GMU.

A process on the new ship’s assistant training could look like this:

  • 10-12 weeks effective sailing time with A.P. Møller – Maersk (one model)
  • 16 weeks of effective sailing time with DFDS, Maersk Supply, Cadeler, Molslinjen or Torm (4 weeks of training followed by 2 weeks off)
  • 24 weeks of effective sailing time with ESVAGT (4 weeks of training followed by 4 weeks off)

After approximately one year’s effective sailing time awaits a 20-week school course, where after graduation you can call yourself an able seaman.

The new ship’s assistant training is a supplement to the existing one and is open to all shipping companies. So far, the scheme includes the following shipping companies: A.P. Møller – Maersk, Molslinjen, Cadeler, DFDS, TORM, Maersk Supply and ESVAGT.

This article is shared by courtesy of Danish Shipping

For more articles about career in the maritime industry, click here.


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