The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms Lilianne Ploumen, and a Dutch Trade Delegation visited Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) yesterday, 8 July 2014. The goal was to get an impression of the way South African and Dutch companies and entrepreneurs are working together. In addition, the newly qualified pupils from DSCT’s in-house Apprentice Training Centre received their certificates from the minister. All qualified artisans, as they now are, are offered a job at Damen’s South African shipyard.
Minister Ploumen and the other guests were welcomed by Damen Shipyards Cape Town staff, including board members Mr Sam Montsi, Mr Friso Visser and Mrs Sefale Montsi-Zuma. The proceedings started with a tour of the DSCT yard which included a viewing of the ATD2909 (Azimuth Tractor Drive) which is currently under construction for the South African Navy, a look at the impressive FCS 5009 Patrol Vessel and a viewing of ‘Shed 6’ which is currently being constructed and is due to be completed in September 2014. The addition of Shed 6 to DSCT’s collection of production halls will add 1280m² of invaluable production floor space to DSCT’s production portfolio.
VIP guests and staff gathered in the boardroom for a certificate ceremony that honoured 20 apprentices from the Damen Shipyards Cape Town Apprenticeship Training Centre, who have recently completed and passed their welding or boiler making trade tests. DSCT’s Apprenticeship Training Centre is accredited by MerSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority) for both the Welding and Boilermaking trades. The Apprenticeship Training Centre invigorates the DSCT yard with new generations of practitioners of up to 15 new apprentices each year. In total there are 39 employees who have benefited from the Apprenticeship Training Centre, some of which have been apprentices and some are yet to qualify.
DSCT aims to be a learning organisation which attracts, trains and retains the best in the field. The company invites and encourages employees to improve their skills to get the maximum benefit from shared knowledge, competencies and talents. Training does not stop at artisan level and therefore the company offers its employees training in budgeting, safety, first aid, firefighting, scaffolding, crane driving and more.
“We believe in constant self-improvement for a healthy and competitive company, and so various training courses are offered at all levels within the organisation”, says HR manager Heather Dukas.
These initiatives benefit the company’s employees as individuals and the shipyard as a whole.
Damen’s policy of building of vessels on stock also contributes to DSCT’s Apprenticeship programme in that a constant workflow is maintained, which translates to constant levels of local employment and shipyard productivity.
Damen Shipyards Cape Town: building in Africa for Africa
Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) is part of the Damen Shipyards Group. DSCT builds offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and platform supply vessels, especially for clients on the African continent. With a BBBEE-rating of 3 and a substantial NIP-offset, Damen is truly embedded in South Africa and committed to building high-quality ships.
Several vessels types are available from stock. Furthermore, DSCT offers repair services and fleet maintenance programmes. In addition to shipbuilding and ship repair, DSCT structurally invests in skills development: the in-house Apprentice Training Centre trains boilermakers and welders, offering facilities for approx. 40 men and women.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 40 ship- and repair yards, employing 8.000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 5.000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers approx. 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale value and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including: tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and super yachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of Services, such as maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. To complete, Damen offers a variety of marine components, especially nozzles, rudders, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion
In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion offers a network of 16 repair & conversion yards worldwide, with dry docks ranging up to 420x80 metres. Conversion projects range from adapting vessels to today’s requirements and regulations to the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DS&C handles 1,500 repair and maintenance jobs annually.