From deckhand to captain: KD makes it possible

Welcome aboard! With this invitation, Köln-Düsseldorfer welcomes countless guests from Germany and abroad to its ships every day. “Welcome aboard” also applies to men and women who want to work for KD. The jobs on shore and on the ships are as varied as the company itself. Training is a top priority for KD. In the nautical field, for example.

A varied training programme awaits the future inland boatmen. The young people on board get to know all facets of passenger shipping. This includes docking and casting off, deck care, maintenance work and contact with guests. The training takes three years. It is based on a dual education system. The practical element is taught on board the KD ships, the theory is taught in block lessons at the Schiffer-Berufskolleg “Rhein” (vocational college for boat operators) in Duisburg. “We offer three new apprenticeship training positions every year”, says Markus Schwartz. As Managing Director of KD Europe, he is responsible for the Nautical & Engineering divisions.

Applicants must be able to swim

There are opportunities for men and women with a completed school education; a Hauptschulabschluss (secondary school-leaving quali­fication) is sufficient. “Applicants should also have a certain degree of physical fitness and technical understanding. Above all, they must be able to swim”. Social skills are also important. This is because KD focuses on teamwork: employees in the nautical field, catering and the kitchen work hand in hand.

Very good exam results

“We attach great importance to solid and thorough training. Our success proves us right: in the past five years, no KD trainee has failed the Chamber of Industry and Commerce exams”, says Schwartz. Young people have good opportunities for advancement within the company. “We have been offering trainees a permanent contract after their traineeship for about 15 years.

Markus Schwartz, Managing Director of KD Europe responsible for the Nautical & Engineering divisions.

"Many of them remain loyal to KD for many years. Anniversaries for 25 or 40 years of company service are not unusual for us”.

No two days are the same

One of the former deckhands is now captain of the MS RheinEnergie. Patrick Gereke started at KD at the age of 17. He was a sailor, boat operator and skipper, and became captain of Europe’s leading events ship this year. “I have fulfilled my dream”, says the 41-year-old family man. “It’s a profession that offers lots of freedom. During the training you learn to become independent early on. You live on board, so you run your own household”.

A career path like Captain Gereke’s would be right up Andreas Rohrsdorfer’s street. The 19-year-old has just completed his first year of training and is very satisfied. “It’s a fantastic job. You travel a lot and learn exciting things. It’s just the right thing for me.

No two days are the same. By the way: inland boat operator is one of the highest paid training jobs in the trade.
Spectacular times on the Rhine!
The new KD event ship

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