“It’s a very big milestone,” Dieter Jaenicke, chairman and founder of Viking Crew Management told SuperyachtNews.com. “We remember when we did our first colour advert in print. And in those days, we used to train about fifteen cadets a year, but now we have six hundred. They may not all go to yachts, but some go to yachts, and then come back and remember that we did something for them and their career. It’s a small industry, and people at Viking are always finding someone has sailed with somebody they know.”
Discussion then moved towards the role of the cadetship programme in the training of today’s crew – something that has been utilised for a long time by the commercial sector but is yet to see significant progression in the superyacht sector, in large due to the size of the vessels themselves and number of cabins for cadets.
What the team was keenest to convey, however, was the sense of fellowship within the family-run business. With Jaenicke at the stand, among many other members of the Viking team, was Jill Jaenicke, finance director, Mark Jaenicke, recruitment and HR director and Matthew Jaenicke, managing director. “I like to think of Viking as a big family. We all work together and it’s big for the right reasons. There is a real sense of camaraderie here and the teamwork has always been there.”
Over the past year Viking has been very forthcoming in its discussion of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) and was fast to gain accreditation. “I think this year’s been particularly interesting, but then again every year is interesting. This year has seen a fair bit of change. I won’t be in Fort Lauderdale, for example, because I’ll in in Manila as we have big projects happening there at the moment, but Viking will still have a stand in Fort Lauderdale. We’ve been having about two or three big projects a year. We wouldn’t be where we were if we were just a recruitment company; it’s about combining all the other parts too so we are able to offer a one-stop shop.”