Training talented engineers for a sustainable future

Liaising with talented engineers has become second nature to Sentijn consultants. They are in intensive contact with institutes of technology and universities, but perhaps even more importantly, they understand young engineers, explains its Director Thomas Fievez. “Rather than taking a job vacancy as the basis for an appraisal of a candidate, we first talk extensively to the professional and look specifically at an engineer’s strengths. What are their wishes and ambitions? What are their talents? And how does the engineer want to improve and develop?”

The company’s Sentijn Academy provides tailor-made training programmes to foster and support engineers’ development. Fievez: “We offer a truly unique resource, tailored to the engineers’ own wishes. This might be in the form of professional courses, but it can also mean that we focus on matters such as leadership, soft skills or project management. By linking the engineer’s specific wishes, ambitions and talents to the wishes of our clients, we can provide a perfect match.”

Sentijn’s advantage is our close contact with the clients. Fievez: “The engineers have the talent and the knowledge; we have the extensive network. We have engineers working on many major projects in construction, infra and mechanical engineering. As such, we are able to prepare young, talented engineers for a future in cutting-edge projects.”


Energy transition
Project staffing firm STAR Group acquired Sentijn in 2018 because it wanted to offer a broad range of technical and specialist services and project support. “STAR’s origins lie in deploying experienced specialists to projects, turnarounds and maintenance departments, mainly in the petrochemical, energy and infrastructure industries. We have collaborative partnerships with all the leading companies in these sectors and have specialists working on practically every significant project. Sentijn’s strength lies in scouting for young, talented engineers, so we complement each other perfectly,” says Thomas Wester, Sales Director at STAR.

“All our clients are working on becoming more sustainable. We can jointly respond to that”

“The great thing about young people is that they want to make an active contribution to developments such as enhancing sustainability and the energy transition,” continues Wester. “After all, it concerns their own future. This gives them even more motivation. And that’s good, because sustainability is a hot topic at all of our clients and technology and engineering are indispensable for this. We can jointly respond to that. And we want to as well, because we also have the drive to contribute to a cleaner world.”


Rotterdam blood in our veins

There is plenty of work to be done on infrastructure too. STAR and Sentijn currently have specialists and young professionals working on practically all the major infrastructure projects. These include projects such as the energy-neutral A16 near Rotterdam, the Blankenburg motorway connection in the Rotterdam region, and the sustainable Ijsselmeer Dam in the north. Fievez: “There’s a vast amount of activity going on in the infrastructure sector at the moment, and that’s good for us. Maybe it’s the Rotterdam blood in our veins. Our consultants are relatively young, but they’ve often been working for us for years. They’re genuinely interested in the profession; they feel a connection with engineers, but also know the clients really well. And that’s crucial if you want to serve your clients well.”

STAR and its sister companies Sentijn and Or-Quest form a tight-knit family with common core values, but each member of the family can retain its own identity. Wester: “We all have the drive to want the best for our clients and specialists. This is the quality everyone who operates in the STAR Group shares: confidence in a sustainable society and intrinsic motivation to put the best specialist in the right place.”


Under “high-pressure”
Industrial companies and consumers will switch to a sustainable electrical energy supply over the next few years and the use of electric vehicles will escalate. Additional high-voltage infrastructure will have to be constructed for this and that will put the labour market under even more pressure. In response to this, STAR and its sister companies Or-Quest (which operates in the north of the Netherlands) and Sentijn have launched a training programme to enable them to supply professionals for this highly specialised work. Thomas Wester of STAR: “There is strong demand for qualified professionals who can assist with the energy transition, but they are often too broadly educated. Together we can ensure that these professionals are supremely up to the job.”

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