Breakthrough for maritime cadet training
More training berths are expected to be made available to South African graduates needing to spend a year at sea as part of the qualifying criteria to become professional mariners through the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) and Global Onboard Training Centre (AGOBTC).
It was signed at the South African Maritime Industry Conference (SAMIC 2017) held in Port Elizabeth on April 6 and 7.
Dr Hisashi Yamamoto, secretary general of AGOBTC, says there is a global shortage of qualified seafarers.
The situation is being exacerbated by the ageing of the existing contingent of professional mariners.
But according to Prof Malek Pourzanjani, chief executive officer of SAIMI, a shortage of berths for the compulsory year-long on-board training creates a “bottleneck” for the qualification of young mariners in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
It is important that South African universities and training institutions work together to transform the commitments contained in the MOU to opportunities for young graduates.
The MOU commits SAIMI and AGOBTC to work together to secure berths on vessels around the world for maritime cadets.
AGOBTC signed a similar agreement with the African Ship-owners Association.
Association secretary general Funni Folorunso said at the signing that it was important to have African crew to man African registered vessels.