Education

Now, mandatory for maritime institutes to offer on board training to students

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on March 19, 2019 Published on March 19, 2019

Anil Devli, CEO, Indian National Shipowners Association   -  PAUL NORONHA

In a development that is expected to help maritime students , the government has made maritime training institutes (MTIs) responsible for providing practical training aboard a vessel.

If MTIs do not ensure practical training to their students in an academic year, then the institutes will lose their right to admit students next year.

At present, many students, after classroom training, are unable to obtain slots for practical training aboard a vessel due to a shortage of training slots .

Lack of slots

While MTIs admitstudents, they themselves had to arrange for the Structured Ship Board Training Programme (SSTP), which is the practical training aboard a vessel. Alternately, ship owners sponsor students at MTIs, and they themselves then provide practical training.

There are about 168 maritime institutes--52 with in-principle approvals-- as of this March, according to the DG-Shipping. Globally, there were 1.5 million seafarers in 2018, and most of them came the Philippines, China and India (1,16,500) in that order, according to Drewry, a maritime reserach and consultancy services provider.

“Students pay between ₹5lakh and ₹10 lakh for each such classroom training and then are unable to find slots for practical training on ships. This makes them unemployable,”said an industry source.

In order to increase the practical training slots, the Shipping Ministry has also eased the lodging and boarding requirements of cadets on-board tugs and offshore vessels, said an official release.

Accomodation issues

Tugs and offshore vessels are unable to accommodate cadets due to space shortage . Since tugs usually operate within the port waters and can come to shore regularly, tug owners are now permitted to take cadets for training and arrange accommodation. The accommodations are arranged by the ship-owner/company of such harbour tugs.

The Ministry has opened up the ability of tug owners to train cadets on their own vessels without facing the difficulty of providing accommodation on the vessel itself, which is limited in smaller tugs.

“INSA had put forward this request at a meeting held with the then Additional DG, who almost immediately agreed to have it examined and provide this facility if possible. The move will ease the problems our tug owners were facing, only due to lack of suitable accommodation on board their tugs,” said Anil Devli, CEO, Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA).

Candidates opting for practical training in the tugs and offshore vessels take longer to complete on-board training since the time clocked at sea is much shorter on non-trading ships like tugs, dredgers, offshore support vessels. This is because all facilities available on larger vessels which spend longer duration at sea are not available in such vessels.

Published on March 19, 2019
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