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Germany Aims to Train More Inland Waterways Boatmasters

August 22, 2022

© Don Masten II / Adobe Stock

© Don Masten II / Adobe Stock

Seeking to grow its inland navigation workforce, Germany is offering new programs to train inland waterways boatman/boatwoman and boatmasters.

"In the light of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the importance of inland navigation for the supply of goods to our society has become once again more than clear. Unfortunately, the sector has been suffering under an extreme lack of young professionals for years," said Oliver Luksic, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport. "To strengthen inland navigation, which also plays a key role in achieving our climate change targets in the transport sector, we will support inland waterway transport operators offering an apprenticeship with up to 76,000 euros."

Apprentices will receive up to 65,000 euros for a 3-year training program for inland waterways boatmen/boatwomen and up to 76,000 euros for a 3.5-year program for inland waterways boatmasters, Luksic said. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport will support both training programs through its Funding of Initial and Continuing Training in the German Inland Waterway Transport Sector Program.

"We will also support the new option of a skills development program for career changers (e.g. from the maritime shipping sector) with a minimum duration of 9 months by funding the costs for the training provider," Luksic said.

Digital course formats, such as live online learning, blended learning and online self-study, will be available for crew members of inland waterway vessels who want to continue their education while underway, and will be funded to the same extent as traditional classroom courses.

Course will also be available for "languages relevant to the German inland navigation sector" in addition to German language courses for non-native German speakers among crew members.

In addition, for the first time, inland waterway transport operators will be supported in offering voluntary continuous training programs for their land-based staff for the purpose of shifting the carriage of abnormal loads to inland navigation vessels.

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