In order to promote the small cargo vessel (Spits) under future skippers and entrepreneurs, the ELV offers youngsters, who currently follow the education to become captain/manager or skipper inland shipping, the possibility of a traineeship onboard on several ships.
During the past few years several reports have been published regarding small vessels (i.e. barges up to 1200 tons). One of the mentioned threats is the lack of follow-up. Although a change is noticeable in the inland waterway shipping of small vessels, nearly one quarter of the ELV members is a “new entrepreneur”, we can still use more young people.
A frequently mentioned facility for promoting new inflow is to achieve more trainee-suitable workspaces. The fact that you will only find a few of those spaces on small canal barges has multiple causes. These barges are usually sufficiently staffed with husband and wife, so that a trainee has no added value. On top of that you get the related formalities and expenses. Also, in such a limited living space a 'strange' passenger raises a significant infraction of the privacy of the family business, especially when it comes to a longer period of time.
On individual basis however, a number of ELV members was willing to share their knowledge and love for the inland navigation to France with a new generation of skippers, by letting students and lateral-entrants on board for one or more journeys.
Resulting from this initiative the idea has risen to set up a group of trainees within the cooperation ELV. This enables students to sail on several vessels during their traineeship. The mutual adjusting takes place through an internal mailing-list. The traineeship compensation will be paid by the cooperation, that is, all the ELV-members. The corresponding administration will be taken care of by the central office.
For the students the benefits will be getting to know various canal barges, they’ll get to do more different tasks and they will see a larger stretch of waterways. On top of this they get the opportunity to build a network of future colleagues whom they might be able to rely on after finishing their study for practical help and information.
Generally spoken, there is no real need for staff on the inland navigation to France.
Therefore, this project is only meant for students who are interested in small vessels for inland waterway
shipping and who have the desire and the capacities to become an independent skipper.