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Sven about Marine & Offshore

Sven Hessing works as a Recruitment Consultant at WFS PRO and is responsible for the Marine & Offshore industry. He is involved in recruitment, sourcing, maintaining contact with clients, and partially handling sales for the Marine & Offshore sector. 

Marine & Offshore 

The Netherlands has traditionally been strong in developing and providing technological solutions for the Marine & Offshore industry. In terms of production in this sector, our country has achieved global success with the construction of luxury motor yachts and specialized (production) vessels, while the Dutch offshore industry has grown significantly through oil and gas extraction in the North Sea. We are familiar with the leading players active in this compelling sector.

The maritime industry consists of various components, as Sven explains: “We [WFS PRO] have divided it into shipbuilding, yacht construction, and offshore. Shipbuilding involves constructing ships for transportation or defense. Yacht construction focuses on building a luxury product, primarily targeting the affluent, requiring ships to have entirely different functions and recreational features. Lastly, there is offshore, which focuses on oil platforms or the dredging of seabeds.”

Working in Marine & Offshore 

The work in Marine & Offshore is diverse, but most roles fall within the Engineering and Support disciplines. “In Offshore, you have more opportunities to work directly on the ship, but that is not our primary focus,” Sven says. “For example, at one of our clients, Damen Naval, you could work as a System Modeling Engineer, Structural Analyst, or Tactical Purchaser. These roles are more focused on the design and development of the ship.”

Currently, our clients include Feadship, Royal van Lent Shipyard, Royal IHC, Damen Naval, and Roll Group. Sven mentions that he is actively pursuing potential new clients. As the person in charge of Marine & Offshore, his task is to ensure that the industry continues to grow within WFS PRO.

Developments in the industry

Sven observes a demand for innovation from the younger generation in the industry. “What stands out is that Marine & Offshore is a fairly conservative sector.” He also notices this when engaged in customer acquisition: “It’s challenging to start new collaborations with companies. They often stick to the same structure, the same experience they’ve already gained; because if something is working well, why change it?” This mindset is particularly evident among the older generation: “The older generation is not fond of change, while the younger generation wants to see and actively pursue change.” Sven has attended several trade fairs and events where the demand for change was evident: “It was clear that the younger generation is seeking innovation and change, and it is also their task to pursue this within the industry.”

Additionally, Sven sees developments related to sustainability. More and more companies are engaging in sustainability, green energy, and reducing CO2 emissions. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic in Marine & Offshore as well, but there is still much work to be done according to Sven: “The industry needs to become greener, but also needs to actively search for ways to become greener. The companies with green alternatives are few and far between. Many companies are still exploring, but it is crucial for the industry to become more environmentally friendly.”

Importance of the industry

“The Netherlands is globally renowned for its Marine & Offshore industry: we are good, and we are reliable. Many people want to work in the Netherlands because of the size of the companies in the industry,” Sven says. The Marine & Offshore industry plays a crucial role in the Dutch economy: “If the maritime industry in the Netherlands were to collapse, the port of Rotterdam, our economic heart, would likely suffer a significant blow. Marine & Offshore is a substantial independent sector within the Dutch economy, and if it were to collapse, we’d be in serious trouble.”