Today was a very special day for me and about 20 other guests from the World Voyage. Accompanied by Julie Berndsen, the ms Amsterdam’s Human Resources Manager, we were initially greeted by Joost de Raad, the General Manager who runs the ms Nieuw Jakarta Training Center for Holland America Line. Two of his assistants, Vina, the Campus Manager & Maria, assistant to the General Manager, escorted us throughout the day and made sure we were provided an amazing experience. Once we arrived at the school, we were greeted in fine fashion by the staff and students.... What a welcome! Then, we had a wonderful tour conducted by Robert “Nick” Nichols, Nieuw Jakarta’s academic director. It was a fabulous tour of a facility which enables Holland America to provide all the basic skills required for new Indonesian crew members joining ships in the Holland America Line’s fleet.
In the late 70s Holland America Line started with Indonesian crew on their ships and at that time focused on classes in English. Later the classes were expanded to include skill classes. At first it was called the ss Jakarta and now, the current training facility which opened its doors on February 15th 2002 is called the ms Nieuw Jakarta.
The school in Jakarta, as I mentioned before has continued to expand over the years. This is where a career begins for Indonesian employees for Holland America Line. When applying to the school, new students are given an English test to assess their basic level of competence. If they pass the test and meet other recruiting requirements, they may be entered into the program which can last up to 8 weeks. The new students spend the first 25 days in English classes, 8 hours a day making sure they can communicate effectively with Holland America Line guests. Once that course is passed, they transition into a training program targeting specific areas, such as housekeeping or dining room wait staff.
They train students in a number of areas including Assistant Steward Lido, Alternative Dining Female, Housekeeping & Laundry Attendants, Messroom, Storeroom Attendant, Assistant Cook Personnel, Junior Clerks and Sailors & Wipers. The skills programs they attend are; Housekeeping/Laundry Attendant – 15 Day Course, Stateroom Attendant – 5 day Course, Assistant Steward Lido – 15 Day Course, Alternative Dining Female – 15 Day Course, Dining Room Steward – 10 day course, Sailor/Wipers – 15 day course, Clerk Jr. – 10 day course
At the ms Nieuw Jakarta school, everything is set up to emulate the shipboard environment so crew can become familiar with the smallest details. Mock cabins have HAL linens and layouts, and dining room tables are set with HAL china, crystal and flatware.
What a day!!!! Of course one of the highlights was a special Indonesian lunch they had prepared for us and served in a most professional manner... The food was delicious... It truly is an amazing place! Thanks to Joost de Raad, Vina, Maria, Nick and the entire staff of the ms Nieuw Jakarta for such an enlightening and wonderful experience. By the way, the last photo was borrowed from Joost’s PowerPoint presentation....