July 8, 2018

Papua New Guinea launches joint maritime training programs with China

PAPUA New Guinea’s largest privately owned maritime college is now connected with China’s fourth largest maritime institution aimed at improving capacity of seafarers in PNG and the Pacific Islands to international levels.

Last week Pacific Maritime Training College launched a joint training co-operation between the Zhejiang International Maritime College of China, with its training programs and development agenda aimed at training PNG Maritime students who wish to advance their qualifications and great opportunities for PNG (and other Pacific Island) seafarers to find employment in the international maritime industry.

PMTC president Gabriel Magyari on Friday told the Post-Courier that, with the international convention on standards of training, certification and watch keeping for seafarers (STCW) 1978, as amended in 1995 and 2010, and adoption of the lSM code in 1994, training is not solely knowledge-based but competence based, and PMTC is determined to impart competence-based training.

“The ultimate aim of our partnership is to fill some of these vacancies by able, capable, seafarers,” Mr Magyari said.

“You are witnessing history being made in the PNG maritime industry. This plaque unveiling determines the relationship between Zhejiang International Maritime College and PMTC. This agreement is the first of its kind in PNG.

“The future of maritime training in PNG looks bright. Co-operation between the two maritime colleges will bear fruit in providing world class training and paving the way for international employment for PNG seafarers.

“PMTC has a proud track record and will continue to contribute significantly to the emergence of our country as an advanced seafaring nation.

“Today PMTC offers courses on safety and security training, ship management, ship engineering, cargo, navigation and IT for various shipboard ranks, but our ability to move forward has been restricted due to our limited resources, especially of equipment and highly qualified training personnel.

“The co-operation between the Zhejiang International Maritime College and PMTC is a natural progression towards lifting the standard of maritime training in PNG and the wider Pacific area to best international standards. Combining our resources, our knowledge, and our local and international experience in the maritime industry, will enable PMTC to offer top-class and comprehensive training to future PNG ship’s navigators, marine engineers and AB’s on deck and in the engine room.”

In 2016 the latest report forecasts a serious future shortage in the supply of seafarers. The report identifies: a current (2016) shortfall of about 16,500 officers (2.1 per cent), but the need for an additional 147,500 officers by 2025 to service the world merchant fleet. Officer categories in especially short supply, include engineer officers at management level and officers for specialised ships such as chemical, LNG and LPG carriers.

The report indicates that, unless training levels are increased significantly, the growth in demand for seafarers could generate a serious shortage in the total supply of officers.

“However, the report also estimates there is a current surplus of about 119,000 deck and engine room ratings (15.8 per cent), with demand only having increased by about 1 per -cent since 2010. Although we need to continue to train deck and engine room ratings for our domestic fleet, the main demand in future is going to be for young PNG and Pacific Island officers who will become the captains and chief engineers on international ships in the future,” Mr Magyari said.
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