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Boskalis jaarverslagen 2012

Development and well-being

Development

Boskalis helps employees to master new skills or to work on their personal development so that they can develop in line with our company.

Our activities in the offshore sector have expanded considerably as a result of the SMIT and Dockwise acquisitions. This also opens up abundant career perspectives for our staff: they can, for example, make the switch from Dredging to Offshore Energy. Employees have indicated that they are very interested in this. We look at this option in more detail on page 43 of our Annual Report 2013.

As well as being important for the employees themselves and for the quality of our work, training and development are also key factors in the integration process. Managers of various divisions meet in the various joint programs and share knowledge and experience. This creates important new internal networks and fosters cross-pollination between the various business units.

Our HR management system allows us to keep track of the instruction and training our employees have received. In this way we always have a clear picture of where the training level is good and where there are still shortfalls. The system also allows us to monitor our staff’s skills profile and whether it is consistent with our strategy. Where areas for development are identified these are communicated to the employees during competency interviews or performance reviews and logged in the system. 45% of staff have annual or six-monthly appraisal reviews. Reviews for other staff are less frequent.

Development programs for management

We focus unremittingly on leadership and personal development in the various ranks of our organization.

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Boskalis is an industry leader with development programs specifically for management. The emphasis shifts from year to year. In 2013, considerable energy went into the development of our senior managers and project managers, who are required to successfully complete ever more complex contracts.

Training and instruction

We provide an extensive program of training and instruction courses and work constantly to expand and update them. Our Boskalis Offshore Development Program has expanded to include specific offshore industry modules designed to bring participants up to the right level within a year. A group of nine employees followed this course in 2013. We also worked on a new training matrix for Inland Infra in 2013.

The full program can be found in the special Boskalis training guide, which is available globally.

Induction program

New members of staff follow an extensive induction program which also covers our general business principles. The program, updated in 2013 to reflect to our current, broader service offering including the Dockwise activities, gives new employees a clear picture of our company.

Traineeships

We also work actively on the internal promotion of homegrown talent. Boskalis offers places to trainees who are given on-the-job training in our company and supported by a mentor. All kinds of relevant aspects are covered. Trainees are introduced to a broad range of our business operations, and they follow training modules to expand their knowledge and develop their personal skills. We coached 19 trainees in 2013. In the same year, a group of young professionals with higher vocational/university level backgrounds from Greece, Portugal and Spain followed a condensed trainee program for the offshore sector for the first time.

Educational institutes

We maintain close ties with the educational institutes that provide our specialized and management courses. We maintain good relationships with Dutch maritime training institutes in order to interest potential employees in our fields of work, giving guest lectures and offering internships. We make our knowledge available for the development of specific courses in collaboration with technical universities and institutes of higher vocational training. As a member of the Dutch Association of Hydraulic Engineers we are involved in the PhD course in coastal and hydraulic works. We also maintain regular contacts with international maritime colleges, including those in the Baltic states, Russia and the Philippines.

Well-being

Sustainable employability

The sustainable employability of staff is an area of concern that we share with the trade unions and the industry in the Netherlands.

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There are two aspects to this issue for our sector: how to enable people to stay in work for longer now that the retirement age is being pushed back, and what approach to adopt with older employees in physically demanding jobs. In consultation with the Dutch trade unions and sector organizations we agreed in 2013 to draw up a sustainable employability plan.

Culture survey

The addition of SMIT, MNO Vervat and Dockwise is transforming Boskalis from a traditional dredging company into an expert in maritime infrastructure solutions and services.

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A smooth integration process is not just an organizational feat, it also entails a major cultural aspect to which we are devoting a great deal of attention.

We therefore commissioned a culture survey looking at a cross-section of the company. The central question was what connects us to each other and to our clients and other stakeholders. One important finding was that the companies are very similar in terms of culture. We are a client-oriented organization that is keen to help find the best solutions to maritime infrastructure issues. Employees are proud to work for our company and say they want to stay with us in the years to come. There were also areas that merit further development and require additional attention, such as cooperation within the company.

HR conditions

Our HR conditions and working conditions policy comfortably meet the guidelines of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention for international shipping companies.

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The same applies to the Dockwise fleet.

Over half of our employees are covered by a CLA, including most of our maritime and project workers. Corporate and operational staff are covered by separate agreements reached in consultation with the Works Council.

We operate various pension plans. Detailed information can be found in the list of ‘Defined benefit pension schemes’ on pages 99-103 of our Annual Report 2013.

Employee representation

Boskalis engages in close and structural consultation with the Works Councils about topical subjects relevant to our employees in accordance with the legislation applicable in the countries where we are based.

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In 2013 we devoted a lot of attention to the integration of Dockwise and MNO Vervat. The integration with MNO Vervat is now virtually complete and the integration with Dockwise is well underway. The starting point is a process of due care, with ample preparation and time to get to know each other and each other’s business. The Works Councils of both Boskalis and Dockwise have been closely involved throughout the process. The integration will take even clearer shape towards the end of 2014 when the Dockwise office staff move to our head office at Papendrecht. The integration of Dockwise and MNO Vervat has led to a limited number of compulsory redundancies. In the few cases where we had to let employees go we agreed on appropriate individual redundancy packages.

Prevention of occupational diseases

Boskalis operates globally and we have offices and projects all over the world.

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We have taken a range of preventive measures with the aim of keeping our staff as healthy as possible and preventing disease.

To protect employees against disease while they are abroad a preventive system has been established that includes vaccinations, an anti-malaria policy and an AIDS prevention program.

Support for colleagues in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013, also sent shockwaves through Boskalis.

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The Board of Management decided to provide individual assistance for employees who were directly affected and to offer them direct financial support to alleviate, to some extent, the suffering caused by the destruction. Boskalis appointed a coordinator to supervise the careful execution of the aid program. We will take a closer look at this in the case text 'Support for colleagues affected by Philippines disaster'.

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