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Building ships in the morning, doing sports in the evening.

22 July. 2020

145 apprentices and 50 dual students are currently completing their training at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems in Kiel, the biggest employer at the Baltic Sea with around 3,200 employees. The shipyard offers many interesting apprenticeships in commercial and technical/industrial occupations, dual study programs and school internships.

“I know almost all the apprentices by name,” says Cem Selvi, who has worked at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as Head of Apprenticeship for two years. The 36-year-old grew up with the shipyard: his father had already worked for the company for more than 40 years.

How did you become Head of Apprenticeship?

I started my career at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems back in 2004, at that time the shipyard ran still under the name Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft. After my apprenticeship I did further trainings to become a technician, was a youth representative and works council member on the vocational training committee. I have always been closely involved in apprenticeship, qualification, continuing education and qualification. Two years ago, the position as Head of Apprenticeship was advertised. I applied and it worked out.

Now you supervise a total of 205 trainees and students.

Yes, but not alone. In my team, we have 10 vocational trainers who are available as contact persons for the young people in the company and train them in practice.

What do you have to do to get an apprenticeship here?

I always say: the basic substance of the candidate must be right. How is the appearance? Is he or she reliable and on time? You can apply to us even if your school grades are poor, because we have often experienced that secondary modern school pupils can become excellent skilled workers. This year we have removed the school requirements from the job advertisements for the first time since looking on the school grades is no longer up to date for us.

What does the application process look like?

After reviewing the application documents, we invite the candidates to a recruitment test, followed by an interview. If the chemistry is right, there is no blocking rock in the way of starting an apprenticeship with us.

How do you make school leavers aware of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems?

Our apprenticeships are found first and foremost on our career page. And on all well-known online portals for apprentices such as or We are also represented at many job fairs, such as the Vocatium trade fair for apprenticeship + study.

How many apprenticeship programs does thyssenkrupp Marine Systems offer?

There are seven in total, including, for example, apprenticeships as plant and cutting machine operators, industrial clerks, electronic technicians or office management assistants.

Moreover, what specific dual courses of study do you offer here?

We offer dual study programs in industrial engineering, business informatics, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, mechatronics, electrical engineering and international sales and purchasing engineering.

How has the Corona crisis affected the apprenticeship?

We have come through the crisis well. As planned, we will start with our new apprentices on September 1. 55 apprenticesand 26 dual students will start. We did not have to cut any apprenticeship positions and we did not have short-time working. However, of course, everyone worked from home. Thanks to our good technical equipment, we were able to provide everyone with learning content on a daily basis, and when we returned to the company, we conducted appropriate hygiene training as standard for all employees.

What motto do you give the newcomers to take with them?

I try to convey this to the young people: Go to work with joy and fun. Start with the feeling: this is my employer until retirement, and then the rest comes naturally.

What is special about the apprenticeship?

Money is not everything, but it counts. That is why we pay above the general pay scale and have a health center where everyone can take advantage of the fitness offer free of charge. Apart from that, we consider the apprenticess’ wishes and work out the training plan together with them. After graduation, we offer students direct entry as engineers.

What opportunities await the trainees after their apprenticeship?

Further training is the be-all and end-all in professional life. That is why thyssenkrupp Marine System offers a large portfolio of training opportunities. Further training to become a technician or foreman is the standard practice at thyssenkrupp Marine System. Professional expertise is important to us, which is why we also cover part of the costs of foreman training.

What is characteristic of apprenticeship at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems?

We meet everyone on an equal footing and treat each other as partners, that’s what makes us special. In the past, avoiding the vocational trainers was normal, but today we treat each other more like friends. I even have an Instagram and Facebook account that the apprentices like to follow.

thyssenkrupp in a word?