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Training and professional development

Training and professional development

Recognizing skills and developing strengths

The AIDA Academy, our training and professional development center in Rostock, offers educational, vocational and development programs all under one roof. This allows us to guarantee the transfer of knowledge in both directions and ensure that practical on-board experiences are integrated into research innovations. The programs include specialist topics such as HESS (Health Environment, Safety, Security) alongside languages, soft skills and executive training.

In 2015, AIDA Cruises was once again awarded a distinction as best vocational training institution.

University education and vocational training

University education and vocational training

In order to acquire the best talents and prepare them perfectly for a job on board or on land, we are cooperating with the Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences, to offer three Bachelor programs: navigation, marine engineering and marine electronics. The degree in marine electronics at Hochschule Wismar was introduced in 2012. AIDA Cruises has contributed an endowment fund to ensure its continued recruitment of highly qualified electrical engineers with watch-keeping certificates for its ever-growing fleet.

Thanks to the holistic, international nature of our vocational training program, we provide our trainees with a perfect foundation for their careers at sea. The programs on offer are organized in close cooperation with the industry for a high degree of practical relevance. International experts and lecturers from relevant companies convey their expertise to our students. A network of cooperation agreements with the supply and cruise industry ensures practical relevance and a high quality.

Pursuing your studies and vocational training at AIDA means being at the heart of it all from the very start, experiencing the divisions and team spirit at the company, and becoming part of the AIDA crew. Our declared goal is to provide sound training that will allow our students and apprentices to take on interesting challenges and seize opportunities within the company. From day one, we grant comprehensive insight into the corporate structure as well as the various responsibilities and areas related to the respective course of study or training program. Our students and apprentices will always find competent contacts on our crew to accompany and support them through their training.

In 2015, ten navigators, nine marine engineers and five marine electricians embarked on their studies with AIDA, among them six young women. Those who complete their maritime training with us in marine engineering, nautical science, or marine electrical engineering will become familiar with the traditional seafarer’s way of life. A multi-week internship aboard the sail training ship “Grossherzogin Elisabeth,” also known as “Lissi,” is more than just a great experience. It provides trainees with basic knowledge about seafaring and boosts team spirit. As a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, we take advantage of synergies within our group. In 2015, 18 cadets from Carnival UK completed their nautical training aboard the “Lissi” for the first time together with the 24 AIDA cadets. This cooperation strengthens the exchange of future employees within the Carnival Group and contributes to a diverse and multinational education. We want to continue expanding this successful program even further in 2016.

In December 2015, we launched our Cadet Enhancement Program. It offers young cadets and graduates within the Costa Group an opportunity to join a four-week schedule of block seminars and trainings at the simulation center in Rostock to prepare for their first deployment as third mates or junior watch keepers. The pilot stage was extremely successful, and we will be offering the full training twice a year within the scope of the Cadet Enhancement Program.

The Germany Scholarship (Deutschlandstipendium) provides financial support for high achieving, motivated students to allow them to successfully focus on earning their degree. AIDA Cruises has participated in the project for the fourth time in 2015 and is once again sponsoring two students at the University of Rostock.

AIDA Cruises has additionally offered a trainee program in hotel management since 2012. The first round of successful graduates have already assumed attractive positions on board, and the second round of our hotel management trainees went aboard the AIDA fleet in 2015.

In addition, we are training young people in the field of dialog marketing in our customer center every year. In 2015, four budding dialog marketing specialists embarked on their training courses at the AIDA customer center. Since 2005, we have been able to give 20 young people a successful start into their careers. Since then, this training profession has been a fixed component of the AIDA customer center. Some of our former trainees have since assumed attractive positions in the AIDA customer center or at AIDA Cruises.

In 2015, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Rostock honored the best trainees of the year. In the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the best trainee in the field of dialog marketing had been trained in the AIDA customer center. The AIDA customer center was awarded the prize for training center of the year 2015, having provided exceptional training for ten years.

AIDA Cruises, too, received another award for its top-class performance as a training institution in 2015. We are very proud of this and feel encouraged to continue offering attractive vocational training and further education programs in order to allow young people a successful start into their careers.

Maritime simulation and training center

Maritime simulation and training center

A maritime simulation center for nautical and technical officers and executive staff, which covers an area of 200 square meters, is located at the premises of the AIDA Academy in Neuer Markt, Rostock. This is where the officers and junior staff receive regular training in the mastery of safe navigation methods and the technical operation of the ship. This training far exceeds the requirements of international safety standards.

When training on the full-mission bridge, maneuvers that account for influencing factors such as swell, wind, current, various sight conditions and precipitation can be simulated 1:1 on the 220 degree panoramic screens. Training is conducted in the regions of the world that AIDA cruise ships visit, including the ports of Hamburg, Bangkok, and Singapore as well as busy areas like the Kadet Trench, the English Channel, and the Bosporus.

We use the bridge simulator to conduct equipment and system training programs for new officers and students. The engine room simulator reenacts the operation of the on-board machinery, simulates emergency scenarios and offers team and individual exercises.

Since November 2013, the bridge simulation and the engine simulator have been coupled. This has created an innovative, realistic training environment that allows us to conduct even more complex safety exercises in particularly authentic circumstances.

Since 2014, our crew has also been training for the operation of the first ship in our new AIDA ship generation, AIDAprima, which began its service in March 2016. One of AIDAprima’s special features are its Azipod drives. The drive system has a streamlined pod and can be rotated 360 degrees around the vertical axis. For the purpose of operating this drive system, we worked with the manufacturer in 2014 to introduce a special Azipod training program.

In 2015, we further expanded our simulation and training center for the sake of increased training capacities. In November 2015, a second full-mission bridge simulator was added. An increasing number of captains and officers from Costa will complete nautical and technical training in Rostock along with the AIDA executives. The open exchange of experiences and intensive cooperation with our colleagues at Costa offer great benefits. The crews are learning with and from each other in order to ensure the safety of our crew and guests as well as a safe and smooth ship operation at all times.

E-learning and courses

In addition to on-site training courses, simulations, and workshops, we also use modern methods such as blended learning and e-learning to help our employees gain qualifications. This includes the web-based learning management system AIDA Expert: it enables our employees to engage in self-directed learning activities at any time of day, from any place in the world that has access to the internet. The training catalog includes all of the courses that AIDA offers as well as mobile learning modules on occupational health and safety, management standards, data protection, as well as technical and soft skill training. Our goal is to make online training as realistic as possible. For this reason, we are continuously developing AIDA-specific programs that are precisely tailored to the different job specifications on board. This is also why the training content has been enhanced with special modules such as ethics and compliance courses as well as German, Italian, and English courses. In 2015, we once again expanded our specialty training, e-learning, management training, and language courses for specific target groups.

We also employed seven training managers on board of our fleet in 2015, who are instructing our crew in technical areas, providing management and soft-skill training as well as offering language courses in German and English.

In 2014, we were again able to increase the number of training workshops. More detailed figures on the education and advanced training can be found under AIDA in figures.

Our quality standards also include a focus on safety. This is why we train and qualify our employees on an ongoing basis from the time they begin working for our company. We have developed a holistic training concept for this purpose: HESS – meaning: Health and Hygiene, Environment, Safety, Security. These training programs are held at the AIDA Academy, at CSMART Rostock, on board, as well as at select educational partners. In 2015 alone, our six HESS traveling trainers conducted 6,916 training courses for employees on board. All employees generally receive comprehensive initial training and refresher courses in every HESS category.

In 2015, the number of training participants more than doubled compared to the previous year. Our training managers alone have trained 17,431 participants, while our online training was attended by 18,505 participants.

Start and orientation

New employees have a lot of questions and are faced with an interesting task. In order to make their initial training and familiarization easier, we have collected a lot of important information about our values, our sustainability strategy, employee diversity and other topics related to a career start with us. Our colleagues in the various departments are available as points of contact.

During the first few days of each month, on-boarding training sessions are held in our Rostock and Hamburg offices. These events give all new employees first insights into the diverse range of products offered by the Costa Group. The program explains AIDA, Costa and Costa Asia, the corporate philosophy, organizational structures and relevant systems and processes.