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ANALYSIS | RECRUITMENT & TRAINING


He does admit that it can be difficult as young people are


less willing to travel and less flexible in terms of working hours. “Maybe other industries are more attractive.” Speaking with HLPFI in 2012, Sue St Germain, executive


director of projects at TransProject, said: “A lot of people entering our industry are learning project forwarding on a computer. Tat is not project forwarding, that is data input.” TransProject regularly sends younger employees to project sites “to understand that project forwarding is not just sitting in an office and answering e-mails.” Te Project Professionals Group (PPG) runs the Certified Course in Project Cargo Forwarding. Kevin Stephens, general manager of the network, said: “Back when I started out in the industry in 1968 [pre-containerisation period], there was no electronic means to learn. We spent 70 percent of our time out on the streets to personally visit all involved in the industry. Younger employees today tend to stay sitting behind their computers and do not have this human and social interaction. I suggest companies should push younger employees out of the nest and let them experience project transportation and management first hand. Let them visit the factories, jobsites, ports and routes. Spend the dollars that it takes to give them a full perspective and understanding of our industry. And when you sign the expense report, remind yourself that this is an investment in their future, the future of your company and the future of our industry.” For Marco Van Daal, managing director of training


provider Te Works International, a significant problem is that companies do not acknowledge the need for training until after there has been an incident. “Tis is a battle I have been fighting for the last ten years. People say training is expensive, especially when times are tough. “I say it is not as expensive as an accident you will have, the equipment you will need to replace, and your insurance


premiums will go up, even if you are lucky enough that no personnel are injured or killed. And your personnel will get nervous after an accident – especially if they do not know why it went wrong as they have been doing it this way for a long time.” He also suggests that ongoing training is as important as recruiting the best people to fill certain positions.


Qualified people Philippe Somers (pictured left), senior vice president industrial projects, Geodis, said recently that there are many qualified people in the market. However, as the market matures the expectations of potential managers rise, particularly among the younger generation. Terefore it can be tricky to find new project managers “who are willing to work on the ground in the more exotic places, in the bush or the desert, where projects often take place,” he said. “It is important that we develop new talents ourselves. Terefore, we have established an internal programme since 2009 to train and promote high performing people within Geodis, which is a priority for us.” Long-time industry training expert Richard


Krabbendam said that it is a good idea to teach people the basic rules of physics and the laws of Newton. “A lot of people come into the industry with


no engineering background, so it helps if they know the fundamentals before moving on to specific training about equipment and lifting and so on.” He added that the increasing size of individual pieces over


the last few years has increased the need for professional training. “And there are a lot more ships now that can lift up to 500 tonnes, so all those people need training as well.” Of course, learning on site is also important. “People also need to learn how to act on a job in the field and no school can teach every aspect of that.” In our highly digitised world the Internet has, for better or


HLPFI10 | 83


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