Rugby league, the sport I played growing up in Australia and have cultivated here in the Philippines, is very much like our company. Although you play your hardest on the field or in the engine room, all of your victories and defeats happen long before you ever set foot on the pitch--they happen in the training you do with the people around you beforehand. Likewise, although RJH started in 2001, the training goes back even further.

Before RJH became what it was today there was Alfa Laval Norway which was conducting training in the Philippines many years before. I became involved in 1996 where I took over from Clause Holtan who had set up the Alfa Laval training in the Norwegian Training Centre Manila. At first I was only to stay for a short time, but that obviously did not happen. Just like playing a game of rugby, you plan ahead but live moment to moment.

Around 2001 Alfa Laval had a corporate reconstruction and started to let go of non-core businesses. Training in the Philippines was designated as non-core, yet many customers requested that the training remain. So in agreement with Alfa Laval Sweden, RJH was born. RJH reports to Alfa Laval each month and is audited by Alfa Laval Sweden at least once a year which not only maintains our international standards but is also an opportunity for us to share our methods and practices with Alfa Laval, making the auditing a mutually beneficial occasion. RJH instructors also go to Alfa Laval Sweden to update their knowledge and training of Alfa Laval's equipment. 

RJH has a passion to make our training realistic and authentic, meaning it is not only theory from a book on old equipment by instructors who have long since retired, but hands on training on actual, functioning equipment. As engineers, we prefer playing with equipment instead of reading about it. Also, our mentors are required to have up to date knowledge of the latest advances in the engine room by continuing to work on board ships and power stations on a regular basis. Rugby is a hands on game and no amount of theory will prepare you for your first tackle on the pitch which is why we make sure all our students get practical time with our equipment.

All our head instructors have received their Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from overseas, mostly from Australia.

One of RJH's proudest achievements is a program where we take graduates from Don Bosco's Ship's Fitter Training Program and give them free training. When we believe they are ready, we ask various shipping companies to give them a go. So far we have helped 35 boys find work. Some of our boys have won scholarships to do Marine Engineering Training and most get quickly promoted to Ship's Fitter. In rugby you don't pass to the man ahead of you; you pass to the man behind you.

What makes our training differ greatly from others is our personal style of training. One of RJH's aims is to give training that helps a person with their life on board ship or power station. We make it easier by ensuring that they are now confident and competent in safely operating and maintaining various installed equipment. That's why we like to say that RJH does not have many customers: we have a lot of friends. Like rugby, our students become part of our team and we enjoy building friendships with each student and their company. We encourage them to stay in contact with us and we are proud to extend our help to them when they are back on board.

I hope you've understood what makes training at RJH unique. The ball is in your hands. I hope you're ready to play.

C/Eng. Rick Hartley