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Competence assurance at all levels

Press Release   •   May 20, 2016 09:10 BST

Cooperation with training vessels is an important element in ESVAGT’s recruitment work

Over 200 ESVAGT colleagues are currently in career advancing training in the shipping company.

ESVAGT has many examples that demonstrate that it is a workplace that provides room to develop and grow. At sea and onshore and across all departments, colleagues are in the process of improving their qualifications and building up new competences and skills.

“Training and development is an area that ESVAGT focuses on a great deal – and for good reason,” says Nick Vejlgaard Ørskov, Head of People/HR:

“In the short term, training ensures that we always have the optimal level of skills and competence. In the longer term, it is essential for ensuring that we retain good employees; that they work for a company in which they can develop in their current positions and bring their ambitions to fruition – also when that development requires further education or on the job training. In the long term, we also want to ensure that we always have a qualified pool of candidates when we have a job function to fill. The best way of doing this is to create a workplace and culture that promote personal growth within their job and their career with us,” he says.

The perfect match

Around 200 employees currently hold a training position in ESVAGT, for example ship’s master training at Skagen Skipperskole (Skagen Maritime College) or navigator training at Marstal Navigationsskole (Marstal Navigation College). Three colleagues are enrolled in a trainee programme with the Danish Shipping Academy’s Commercial Shipping Program. Some study in their free time at adult education schools and some remote study while still working on their vessels.

“It is hard to study while working – but if you want, you can study via remote study at sea and then go to school during onshore periods. Ambition must come from the individual and is something that we must support,” emphasises Nick Vejlgaard Ørskov.

Others are in training by gaining sailing time as ordinary seamen before returning to school and becoming able seamen, navigators, machinists and engineers.

Counting ordinary seamen alone, the shipping company has 178 colleagues in training, which is good news for the food chain,” says Tina Halkjær Nielsen, Recruitment Officer for ESVAGT:

“We focus a great deal on the ordinary seamen because they are usually the ones we employ again when they return from college. This way we know that they have what we are looking for – and they know what it means to work for us. It ensures an excellent match from the very beginning,” she says.

This extensive recruitment focus means that ESVAGT trains by far more mariners in Denmark than any other shipping company; something that requires a good deal of resources:

“We cooperate closely with the training ships and colleges and do what we can to be present at the events they hold. We also conduct interviews on the training ships and at the colleges,” says Tina Halkjær Nielsen:

“It’s a demanding task but it ensures that we have an excellent opportunity to choose the right people,” she says.

ESVAGT works closely with training vessels and maritime colleagues, making every effort to show students that the shipping company is interested in them. For example, ESVAGT likes to conduct interviews on board the training vessels and has also trained together with them.

Safety as instinct

It has been strategically important for ESVAGT to be able to harvest from its own training pool when looking for new colleagues. It has been so successful that is almost self-sufficient.

“This brings us many benefits,” says Nick Vejlgaard Ørskov:

“The people who come to us have ESVAGT’s safety mind-set as instinct. We save time and expense that would otherwise be needed on introduction courses and we have good people retention because they have had the opportunity to get to know their workplace in good time. The most important thing is that not only are they able seamen when they start with us, they are ESVAGT able seamen and know about the ESVAGT standard and the team spirit we have in our fleet,” he says.

It also means that ESVAGT colleagues that leave the shipping company for further education keep in touch with crewing/HR.
“When good colleagues leave us to continue their education, we offer them sailing time as relief cover in holiday periods and when their studies are nearing their end, we offer them the vacancies we have before we take in people from outside,” says Tina Halkjær Nielsen:

“We really want the people who have learnt the business from the bottom. They have been on deck and know what work needs to be done. This gives them a completely different sense of respect for the officers – they know that they have also learnt their trade from the bottom up. That is why we want to ensure that the colleagues who leave us to continue training know who to contact when they are ready to go back to sea,” she says.

ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.

We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.

In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.

ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.