Three years with Jasper

Jasper Wiese, an apprentice with Hapag-Lloyd, is a huge fan of seafaring and everything having to do with mechanics. But what exactly does a budding ship mechanic learn? To find out, we’ll be following on Jasper throughout his entire period of training.

Even during his fifth week of training to become a ship mechanic, Jasper Wiese still couldn’t believe it. “The fact that I actually landed with Hapag-Lloyd is simply awesome,” he says enthusiastically. The 19-year-old – whose favorite free-time activities include playing soccer with friends or tinkering with his moped is one of a total of 69 new apprentices – 33 for the shore division, and 36 for the marine division, who started their career at Germany’s largest training provider in the shipping industry this year.

Jasper Wiese is one of 69 apprentices, who started their career at Hapag-Lloyd this year.


“Seriously, everyone I asked told me that it is the best shipping company offering apprenticeships in Germany,” Jasper says. He also met with two people training to become ship mechanics, who told him what it was like to work on board. “After that,” Jasper says, “I was so motivated about it that I immediately mailed in my application.”

This decision paid off. Less than six months later, on August 3, Jasper found himself sitting with al the other apprentices in a conference hall in Hamburg. It was “welcoming week,” when all the “newbies” at Hapag-Lloyd get a chance to meet their future colleagues, their instructors and, of course, the company. “It was already impressive from the start,” the budding ship mechanic recalls. “I was particularly fascinated by the visit to the Museumhafen” – a collection of historical ships in Hamburg – “and by the ship simulator at the International Maritime Museum, in which you can test your seafaring skills as a captain on a virtual bridge.” 

In October, he has successfully completed the basic safety training course for fire-fighting and rescue.


Shortly thereafter, Jasper also started the technical part of his dual-track training, which is divided into in-class and on-the-job instruction. By the end of November, he had learned the basics of shipping technology, navigation and, of course, vessel safety at the sailors’ school. A month earlier, Jasper had successfully completed the basic safety training course for fire-fighting and rescue. “There, we trained for things like staying alive in the water,” Jasper says. “It was really something to be literally thrown into cold water.” But the absolute best part is yet to come.

Finally, it’s time to go on the training ship – for the so-called group trip. “Today, we are setting sails on the ‘Kuala Lumpur Express’ (KUX) to New York and back,” Jasper says with excitement in his voice. The “KUX” is one of Hapag-Lloyd’s two training ships. It has an extra deck as well as a training workshop for up-and-coming seafarers. On board, trainees learn all the practical fundamentals of operating a ship from two veteran seafarers.

So, along this career journey, what does Jasper think of things so far? “I don’t regret my decision for a second,” he says, “and I’m already absolutely thrilled by the teamwork on board.” So stay tuned for more on Jasper, as we will naturally report more on his journey and see how things continue to go for him on board.

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