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Cem Selvi and his team make trainees fit for the shipyard

25 August. 2020

Shortage of skilled workers is still a current problem - especially in the technical and engineering areas. thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is trying to counteract this with a wide range of training and study programs. We talked to Cem Selvi, Head of Vocational Training at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, about training opportunities for young people at the Kiel, Hamburg and Emden locations.

DISCLAIMER: The following interview as well as pictures were led and taken before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Head of HR Vocational Training, Cem Selvi supervises a team of nine trainers at the Kiel location. Together, they are available around the clock for the almost 142 trainees and 49 dual students, hold discussions with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the vocational schools or organize and conduct additional training courses.

Cem Selvi tells us what makes the training opportunities at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems so special and what prospects and support programs are available to apprentices and students at the Kiel location.

“We have first-class boys and girls on board,” says Cem Selvi in praise of the trainees and students that he and his nine-strong team of trainers supervise.

Diversity for a feel-good atmosphere and a good start into an international professional life

When Cem Selvi himself started at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (then HDW), he was surprised by the diversity of products and the multi-faceted work areas at the Kiel site. “The complexity of the fields of activity and the diversity of the employees help create a family atmosphere at our locations,” says Selvi enthusiastically. “As an apprentice, you can immediately integrate and feel at home here.”

For Selvi, the great support culture is what makes thyssenkrupp Marine Systems an employer. This is very strongly anchored in the company and its culture. “There is always someone you can ask for advice and who is willing to support you,” Selvi said.

Despite the numerous possibilities the training leader recommends to his trainees and students not only to have stubbornly a vocational final goal in the view, but to complete only once a professional training – and to become good in a specialist area. “Who convinces as a skilled worker, will always also meet open ears and perspectives for the next career step”, Cem Selvi is sure.

Team spirit and a familiar atmosphere prevail among the trainees and students around training manager Cem Selvi. CFO, Dr. Sebastian Schulte (in the green T-shirt on the left) is also part of the team: a sign of collegiality across all levels.

Trainee or student at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems?

What does such training at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems look like? “Half theory and half practice,” Selvi explains. “Our apprentices attend vocational school once or twice a week. The other days they spend at the company.”

 In the training workshop, the trainees are prepared to switch to production in the second year of their apprenticeship. Before the final exams, they regularly return to the training workshop where they receive intensive preparation courses from the instructors. The training usually takes 3.5 years.

But fewer and fewer companies are taking on their junior staff. Cem Selvi also knows from discussions with trainees and students that taking over after training or studies is a real concern for many young people. That’s why he is particularly proud that thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is able to take on 99% of the roughly 60 apprentices and 30 dual students it takes on each year. As much as 95-97% of these are permanent.

And when it comes to training compensation, the young people in Kiel can also look forward to good conditions under the wings of Cem Selvi and his team: “We don’t believe in paying talented and reliable trainees just the minimum. Our training allowance starts at 1047 euros and increases by 100 euros with each training year or semester”. Selvi informs us. And all this with a 35-hour work week and 30 days of vacation per year.

Fair compensation and a 90 percent chance of being hired gives young people a secure feeling.

Further training and the “Combined Study Program

There are also numerous opportunities for career advancement after completion of your training at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. In consultation with the specialist department, graduates have the opportunity to add a technician, master craftsman or business economist to their training. Dual studies in Bachelor and Master are also possible in the so-called “Combined Study Program”.

“The Combined Study Program is our program for dual students who complete the theoretical part at the university and the practical part here at our site under the supervision of the team of instructors,” explains Cem Selvi. Many study programs also require so-called “compulsory” or “specialized” internships. These can also be completed by external students at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems or write their master’s thesis at the company.

“We are familiar with everyday life at the universities and are aware of the practical demands placed on junior staff. Selvi explains the numerous opportunities for students in the company and explains: “That’s why we are also open to external students. In the end, we are doing ourselves a favor by supporting the highly qualified personnel of tomorrow”.

Joint activities and leisure activities weld the trainees together as a team.

Leaving the image of a male domain behind: thyssenkrupp Marine Systems wants to bring more women on board

As before, comparatively few women and girls apply for apprenticeships or dual study programs at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. “for many, our industry is still a male domain,” says selvi. The company wants to counter this mindset and bring more women and girls on board. “We are increasingly taking female apprentices and students to trade fairs and have also launched the “Girls’ Talents Technology” project in cooperation with the youth representation: Here we discuss with trainees and those who want to become trainees what we can do better to make more young women feel welcome and successful,” Selvi says with satisfaction and adds: “In recent years, we have already seen an increase in the number of female trainees and students and this has clearly led to a more collegial and structured cooperation – at least that’s how I experience it in my everyday work.

Always on the lookout for applicants

Every year Cem Selvi and his team look forward to new trainees at the Kiel shipyard. From September apprentices and students can apply via the thyssenkrupp career site. But places at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems are in great demand. “In most cases 85% of apprenticeships and dual study programs are filled by the end of the year,” stresses Cem Selvi.

Here is an overview of training opportunities at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems for 2021:

Training professions

  • Plant mechanic

  • Electronics technician for industrial engineering

  • Construction mechanics in the following fields

  • Equipment Technology

  • Metal and shipbuilding technology

  • Welding Technology

  • Industrial mechanic

  • Cutting machine operators in the following fields

  • Turning technology

  • Milling technology

  • Industrial clerks

  • Office Management Assistants

Dual study programs

  • Industrial Engineering and Management

  • Business Information Technology

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Shipbuilding

  • Electrical Engineering

  • Mechatronics

  • International sales and purchasing engineering

  • Media Engineer