Home | About PLATINA | Project structure & activities | PLATINA newsroom | Downloads | www.naiades.info | Contact

SWP3.3 | Setup of European IWT recruitment campaign


The number of apprentices and students in the inland waterway transport sector is declining. Furthermore, the offspring of private ship owners are less and less willing to take over the business of their parents, and career changers from other sectors are rare. One main reason for this shortage of entry level staff is the lack of knowledge about the career possibilities and working conditions in inland waterway transport.


A recruitment strategy is needed at a European-wide level to clearly make young people or beginners aware of job and career opportunities in the IWT sector. It has to meet the expectations of both employers and workers on reliable jobs on board. This Sub-Work Package will design a general recruitment strategy and develop a tool box for national recruitment campaigns.

Description of work

In this task the basis for a recruitment strategy is created by identifying the relevant target groups to whom the campaign is geared to (e.g. pupils, young trainees, personnel from other sectors). As a next step, core communication objectives are defined according to the specific target group descriptions. These objectives  provide the framework for the design of flexible and easy-to-manage campaign tools like, e.g., basic material, folders, posters or info packages for schools and employment agencies.

The reasons for the shortage of qualified IWT personnel, different educational modalities and differing traditional types of enterprises, vary across Member States. For these reasons, recruitment campaigns have to be adapted to national or regional needs (e.g. national languages, national topics, intensity and types of tools).

Achievements January-May 2011

Two online surveys addressing the internal perception of current IWT trainees as well as the future needs for IWT personnel as perceived by HR staff in the shipping companies were placed on www.naiades.info in English, German, Romanian and French in order to gain a deeper insight into the different perspectives. The findings of the pan-European questionnaire were fed into the recruitment strategy.

In order to implement the recruitment strategy, campaign ideas have been presented in a “cookbook”-toolbox which describes various ways of “How to…..” use for example, key visuals, a web-portal, brochures, posters, special promotion days, web 2.0, give always and many more.

In addition, the strategy proposes to involve different stakeholders in the recruitment activities. Mentors and multiplicators should be directly involved in the career choice process. The human resource (HR) activities and the employer branding of the IWT companies should be improved in the future. Equipping IWT companies with modern HR tools such as a demographic check or activities for improving compatibility of work and family life are on the agenda. Cooperation with local schools is one option to raise awareness on IWT professions. To establish a national recruitment agent could be another option to implement the variety of tools.

The strategy and the elements of the toolbox were discussed in a WP 3 workshop on 8th March 2011 at the premises of the German Ministry of Transport in Bonn to which representatives of the Social Partners from EBU, ESO, ETF were also invited as well as the PLATINA Communication Officer.

Sub-Work Package leader biography

Jörg Rusche (Managing Director of BDB) is a lawyer specialised in international law. He joined BDB in 1999 as an expert in legal and technical affairs and became managing director in 2001. Since 2002 he has acted as secretary of the newly established joint nautical and technical Committee of EBU and the European Skippers Organization (ESO). In 2006 he became a counsellor of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Jorg is fluent in English and French.


3 questions to Jörg Rusche

  • What do you like most about your work?
    There is a large variety of topics addressed and there is always something new
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    I would wish for adequate infrastructure
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    PLATINA enlarges my horizon