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Binnenschiff auf dem Rhein an der Hohenzollernbrücke in Köln

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To increase the attractiveness of inland navigation professions, Germany will make available a 3-year dual training programme to become an inland waterways boatman/boatwoman as well as a 3.5-year training programme to become an inland waterways boatmaster as of 1 August 2022.

Oliver Luksic, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport:

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. 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.

They will receive up to 65,000 euros for the 3-year apprenticeship for inland waterways boatmen/boatwomen and up to 76,000 euros for the 3.5-year apprenticeship for inland waterways boatmasters. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport will support both training programmes through its Funding of Initial and Continuing Training in the German Inland Waterway Transport Sector Programme. We will also support the new option of a skills development programme 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.”

Digital continuing training formats such as live online learning, blended learning and online self-study courses have evolved significantly. They are perfectly suited for crew members of inland waterway vessels who want to continue their education while underway and are funded by us to the same extent as classroom courses. Another new option will be the funding of language courses for languages relevant to the German inland navigation sector as well as of German language courses for non-native German speakers among crew members.

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

To facilitate the application process, model applications and a catalogue of training courses eligible for funding will be made available on the Internet.

You can find further information by clicking on the following link: