For many, the shipbuilding projects at Batavia Yard are a successful first step and stepping stone to paid employment, training or self-employment. ‘Straight to work' is Batavia Yard's motto. Under the supervision of instructors, the participants gain experience and derive enjoyment from the work, recognising new opportunities in their lives. Working with people who have a passion for the profession is infectious!
In the 25 years of its existence, Batavia Yard has demonstrated that its approach works and that it makes a valuable contribution to society. More than 600 underprivileged youngsters and long-term unemployed people have worked on the construction of the VOC ship ‘Batavia' for ten years, thus creating better opportunities for their successful reintegration into Dutch society. Over 85% of them have since moved on to paid employment or an education.
In the meantime, a new generation is involved in a second monumental shipbuilding project, that of ‘De 7 Provinciën'.
Since 1 February 2007, the Batavia Yard education foundation has been incorporated into the ‘Concern for Work' organisation, which provides sheltered employment in the province of Flevoland. Together with this organisation, people are given work placements at Batavia Yard, where they receive coaching to support their reintegration into the labour market. And with success: six months of working on such elements as work rhythm, social etiquette and personal learning objectives give them a new perspective on their careers. Working on your personal development in a unique workplace that you can be proud of can have a major impact.
From 1 April 2009, Batavia Yard offers participants in the education programme a diploma. Within a year, participants can complete a level-one course to become a shipyard building site assistant.
Who are the participants and what do they have to offer?
The Batavia Yard construction team consists of 8 employees and a group of volunteers. These people are only too happy to pass on their expertise in order to work on the Batavia and De 7 Provinciën with the participants.
The target group comprises:
• People re-entering the labour market
• Disabled people (who would like to work with their hands)
• Young adults (with behavioural problems, personal impediments, familiarising themselves with the opportunities on offer)
• People on benefits under the Work and Social Assistance Act registered via Concern for Work
Hopefully this information has kindled your enthusiasm for the possibilities that exist at Batavia Yard. Interested? Ask your benefits agency about the possibilities or contact Batavia Yard's education co-ordinator on +31 (0)320-261409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the participants: ‘The work is fantastic. You are using your hands and the results are immediate. You are working in a group to make something together.'
‘Working here generates enthusiasm. You are enveloped by the atmosphere and the many opportunities on offer', says an employment specialist.