The Director General of Shipping (DGS) will allow maritime training institutes to give on-board training to cadets on tugs, as it looks to widen the training slots and help clear a back log of aspiring seafarers .
India has some 164 maritime training institutes, some of which are conducting pre-sea training courses for trainee officers/cadets and trainee ratings as well as post-sea training institutes which offer specialized programs for full-fledged officers in both nautical and engineering streams.
55 more institutes have been given in-principle approval since January this year after the government lifted a ban on opening new pre-sea and post-sea institutes.
Employment opportunities: Over 5,000 cadets, who have passed out of maritime training institutes, are not employed, as they have not been able to complete the mandatory on-board ship training, according to the shipping ministry.
The lack of employment opportunities has also been hit by a global downturn in the shipping industry since 2008.
“Without under-going ship-board training, a cadet cannot sit for any competency/proficiency exams and without a certificate of competency (CoC), he won’t get a job,” said an official at the DGS, India’s maritime administration.
With the government looking to increase the number of training slots, the DGS cast its eyes wider to include vessels that were earlier excluded from training purposes, but which could potentially generate more on-board training opportunities.
India has some 300-400 tugs but they lacked accommodation for crew/cadets to stay during the night.
“So, we thought why not use tugs for training purposes also. The problem is only on staying for the night. For this, we have come up with a plan to allow cadets to train from morning till evening. Then, they can go back to the shore and return the next day. We have now opened this up for trainee engineer officers and ratings,” the DGS official said.
Assuming a moderate figure of 300 tugs with each tug accommodating two trainees, this will translate into 1,200 extra training slots in a year, the official said adding that tugs with engine horse power of 750 kilo watts and above will only be considered for such on-board training.
Candidates who are not placed for onboard training within one year of completion of their on-shore education and training shall have priority over the next batch of students in the same course and their numbers shall be also included while calculating the minimum requirement of 85 per cent.
Non-compliance will result in reduction in the institutes’ intake capacity for the next batch or withdrawal of approval for the specific pre-sea course, the DGS warned.