Rene Boer started out in the dredging industry when he was just 15 years old. He learnt the trade while working as a sailor on hoppers and cutter suction dredgers. Over the years, he worked his way up to become a skipper on a cutter suction dredger. He speaks enthusiastically about the dredging profession: “It’s addictive! It’s wonderful to see a landscape being made, and harbours being constructed. Dredging is a feeling, an emotion. As a dredger you construct things in the water. You really have to be a team-player and have to be able to work hard to succeed in this. The camaraderie is great in the dredging business.”

What I enjoyed the most was building harbours. He also worked as a dredge master trainer in Nigeria. Cutter dredgers were commissioning there and used for the first time. “Sharing my knowledge and experience with the local dredge crew was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had,” he admits.

In 2005 he made the transition to land, choosing to work for a temporary employment agency. He worked as a consultant for a stationary fleet of dredgers and excavators. Then, in 2007, he was involved in the establishment of a new temporary agency, where he worked as a Manager for the Maritime Department. And since 1 October of this year, he has been working in the team at Nautic Jobs.

Because of his extensive experience in dredging, he knows better than anyone what the client is looking for. But he also knows what the client needs to be successful; he knows exactly which person is right for the job. He advises newcomers to not only focus on good salaries but tells them they also need to be passionate about the job. “It’s not a nine to five job and 12-hour days or working weeks of 60 to 84 hours tend to be the norm rather than the exception. Candidates need to be able to handle irregular working hours and to be technically-minded”. Women should also be aware that it is a male-oriented culture.