"Auszubildende berichten"

by Johannes Fleischer


My name is Johannes Fleischer and I am 21 years old. I work since two years as a trainee with the Hartmann-Shipping Company.

During those years I spent 29 weeks at school and two 4 month contracts on container vessels, one on MV Frisia Rotterdam and one on MV Ital Ordine.

Just now I began my third contract as SM Trainee on board of one of Hartmannīs Gas Tankers, MT Danubegas. In this time I learned quite a lot. At school I was primarily taught the theoretical and basic knowledge, which was put into practice during my training time on board.

I was asked to write an article about what does training mean to me? Training means to me, that I can learn something from the experienced onboard personal of the various professions.

Those experiences are ideally fundamental, guiding me into the direction of my future profession after the SM qualification, which would give me three options: the deck-, the engine department or the decision not to pursue an ongoing career at sea.

The frame conditions for an optimum of training on board is the basic understanding of all trainers that everybody needs further training all his professional life long. Essential for that is also the understanding that everybody once joined a vessel as a training cadet. With this essential understanding in the background it is completely normal that no trainee as a novice on board is able to know everything right from the start as another long serving seaman. But therefore I am willing to learn and the step by step improvement each day gives me the motivation to keep on going.

The German dual training system is in my opinion the best way to learn a profession as detailed as possible. It gives me the possibility to observe several jobs which are done, understand them, address my questions if necessary directly to an expert and doing the job all by myself the next time. It is the perfect mix of gaining practical and theoretical knowledge from people who are willing to share their broad experience with me on the one hand and the well proved "learning by doing" principle on the other.

Concerning the leisure life on board I can say that the evenings together with the crew every time are quite an event. Especially the visit of some places in countries which I would not normally visit like New York and Charleston, United States or Athens in Greece are the highlights of each training contract on board.

On the other Hand am I experiencing of course also the negative points of this profession like missing home and family events as every other seaman does.


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