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Meyer Turku shipyard looking for new recruits

article picture: Meyer Turku shipyard looking for new recruits

Located on the southwestwern coast of Finland, Meyer Turku shipyard is specialised in the production of large cruise ships. Currently owned by Meyer family, the shipyard is one of the leading European shipbuilders. As orders for new ships keep coming in steadily, the shipyard has a growing demand for new shipbuilding professionals.

Mr. Tapani Mylly, Communications Manager for Meyer Turku, notes that the shipyard’s order book is quite full until the year 2024.

”Now that we started work on the new ship ordered by Carnival Cruises, we have three vessels under construction at the moment.”

Plate-cutting work is now underway for the Carnival XL1 that will start operating from Florida in 2020. The ship is to be the first North American based cruise ship to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). It has gross tonnage of more than 180 000 tons.

Still at Turku shipyard in its final stages of construction and expected for delivery in early 2019, TUI Cruises’ New Mein Schiff 2 has a length of 315 metres and will carry nearly 2 900 passengers. Shipbuilding for this vessel was started in early 2017.

”The third ship under construction is Costa Cruises’ new LNG-powered liner Costa Smeralda, also with a gross tonnage of over 180 000 tons. The ship will be equipped with more than 2 600 cabins and is scheduled to enter service in October 2019. At the moment, the ship’s hull is in its final stages of assembly,” Mr. Mylly recounts.

Furthermore, a second Carnival Cruises XL class ship – a sister ship for Carnival XL1 – has already been ordered and is scheduled for delivery from Meyer Turku in 2022.

Shipbuilders wanted
While the volume of shipbuilding keeps constantly increasing, competition for skilled personnel in and around the Turku region is getting tougher and tougher.

”At present, we employ around 2 000 people, whereas our current network of subcontractors employs another 6 000. In the past year, we have taken on 250 new employees, but our network would need five times that many new recruits. We do not exactly have a labour shortage yet, but it is undeniable that recruiting of new personnel has become more challenging than it used to be,” Mylly says.

”All in all, some 10 000 new recruits will be required by us and our network companies by the year 2023 to be able to build all the ships on schedule. We need not only more shipbuilders but also engineers and other designers.”

According to Mr. Mylly, the growing shipbuilding business means that the entire maritime cluster in the region needs to expand. Consequently, the subcontractor network should also make preparations for new growth and for hiring more personnel.

”We now have more shipbuilding orders than ever before. In past years, there was a lot of fluctuation in the demand for shipyard personnel, with peaks and low points at an interval of maybe a couple of years. Now, however, we have a steady demand of new personnel for many years onwards, and hopefully even beyond the year 2024.”

”Therefore, we are specifically looking for professionals who would be interested in long-term careers in shipbuilding in southwestern Finland,” Mylly explains.

Investments for growth
In the vicinity of Meyer Turku shipyard, construction work is being started for a new large-scale industrial park designed for the maritime cluster. According to estimates, the park may eventually provide workspace for over 100 different subcontractors and related companies.

”The industrial park is a promising concept. If the facilities of our subcontractors can be situated just outside the shipyard, there will be many synergy benefits in logistics and in various other areas,” mentions Mylly.

In recent times, Meyer Turku has also made a number of serious investments of its own.

”The largest investments include new digitally controlled production equipment for the steel factory. The shipyard’s steel halls will have a new plate cutting line, a new profile cutting line, and a new panel line.”

”Also, we have rebuilt the cabin factory at nearby Piikkiƶ, a new facility for the storage and pre-handling of plates, and a large-scale new crane for heavy shipbuilding duties. Some of these investments are almost ready and the rest will be taken into use in 2019. These will make up a large part of our current investment budget of 200 million euros,” Mylly adds up.

The shipyard works in close cooperation with Meyer’s German-based shipbuilders, for instance in the domain of procurements.

”It makes sense economically and logistically to make joint orders for such materials as steel and for various types of ship components, particularly if similar kinds of ships are simultaneously under construction in Finland and in Germany,” Mr. Mylly explains.

By: Ari Mononen
Photos: Meyer Turku

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