The dredging industry requires a highly educated
workforce both onshore and on board. Various engineering programmes worldwide provide a source of employees for the maritime industries. Engineers of all types and scientific researchers are essential to the long-term success of the industry as it implements projects for economic development in a sustainable, environmentally conscious way.
Training to develop highly skilled fleet personnel is available at a variety of maritime academies and programmes. Ongoing training is also often provided by the dredging companies themselves internally.
Specific certifications for various jobs is necessary. Such positions may include: captains, bridge officers, ship's engineers, maritime officers, skippers, pipe operators, welders, crane and backhoe operators, sand fill operators, cooks and deck hands.
Safety and security of vessels and personnel is always a priority and requires continuous training to ensure vigilance.
The diversity of types of dredging projects – capital, maintenance and remediation – a broad variety of skills and talents are necessary for success. Companies are therefore on a constant look out to recruit competent people from all levels of the educational ladder. In addition, the sophistication of dredging vessels and the technological equipment nowadays demands that crewmembers be thoroughly well trained. Well educated and well trained personnel leads to more cost-efficient projects that are more safely executed.
Human Resource / Personnel & Organisation departments seek candidates from technical secondary schools as well as technical universities. The skills that are needed to crew innovative high-tech vessels involve all aspects of the maritime industry and the dredging industry is in competition to attract the best qualified workforce.
Retainment through continuing education
This competitive workplace and world market mean that dredging contractors have to ensure that their employees are also satisfied in their positions and can build a career in the industry.
Consequently, more and more companies are offering “continuing education” for employees. Continuing education may take the form of on-the-job training, as well as specialised outside education and training provided by the employer to support employees in further developing their intrinsic talents and existing skills.
The aim of these programmes is to provide opportunities to transform “a job” into a career. Such educational opportunities offer an employee a chance for growth and promotion within the company. At the same time it guarantees the companies continuity for a successful transition into the future for their fleets and management.
Careers and education
The variety of possible careers within a dredging company, ranging from jobs onboard immense dredging vessels, to civil and maritime engineers and project managers demand specific types of education. Dredging companies obviously look for well-educated people in technical universities, students in the fields of civil engineering, technical earth sciences, environmental science and industrial design.
They also look in other higher education organisations where skills such as shipbuilding, hydrography and maritime officers, safety/quality control engineers, surveying and dredging technologies are taught. Other related areas of study necessary to the modern dredging industry include lawyers, contract specialists, economists and accountants.