Production Foreman, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, The Netherlands – 40 years
“In the early nineties I began internal training at Damen. I had just graduated from technical school and heard a classmate talking about this company. Before that, I had been aware of its existence, but I had never visited it. Over the next two years, I studied Metal Technology. This meant going to the Damen Academy four times a week and working one day in the field. In this way, I learnt several metalworking techniques, such as welding, burning and grinding. Although it has been a while, I tend to look back on this time as an intensive period that gave me valuable experiences. During the course, our trainers were skilled workers and they taught us well.”
“After graduating, I was given the chance to progress through to the production department, where I became a Junior Installation Mechanic. This meant that at one moment I could be busy with the alignment of engines and at another moment I could be installing a floor or placing components onto the roof of a ship. After some time, I became a trained Installation Mechanic, and I quickly grew into this more senior position. Now, my title is Production Foreman, which entails having responsibility for a team of people and giving them guidance during certain projects. Basically, I put people to work with the right materials and drawings, and then keep an eye on things to ensure all goes well.”
“The best thing about Damen is the company’s success in the international market. The company is growing rapidly, but it has managed to stay a family-oriented business. In addition to this, Damen allows each employee to develop their skills and to climb up the chain, if that’s what they want to do. Gradually, as you learn more and more about the products, you will be assigned certain responsibilities. Working for Damen is almost a guarantee of a bright future.”
“As a mechanic, I constructed several 42-metre ships; these are impressive and fun to build. It is even more rewarding when a ship is finished. The feeling of pride overwhelms you. I sincerely believe in ‘Damen pride’, a feeling that everyone working here recognises. All of the employees share the same aim: creating a great ship and giving everything they have to make it succeed. When you see the end result of all this hard work, that’s when you remember why you want to do it over and over again.”
The feeling of pride overwhelms you. I sincerely believe in ‘Damen pride’, a feeling that everyone working here recognizes.