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September 30, 2023

Industry body MASSA flags training issues for maritime manning sector

According to a trade group, a major problem for the domestic maritime manning industry is the lack of sufficient shipboard training berths.

Some of the biggest ship-owning nations include Japan, Greece, China, Singapore, Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Bermuda.

China, Russia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines are the main markets for trained labour needed to run cargo and cruise ships around the world.

According to a statement released on Wednesday by the Mumbai-based Maritime Association of Ship Owners, Ship Managers, and Agents (MASSA), there is currently a mismatch between countries that own ships and those that provide maritime labour. This is due to the fact that 10 developed countries currently own 70% of the world’s fleet of cargo ships.

As much as 44 per cent of the seafaring manpower is supplied by five developing nations.

”The ship-owning nations are not overly enthusiastic to invest in training seafarers while the seafarer supply nations do not have the resources to train the manpower,” MASSA CEO Shiv Halbe said.

”Any efforts to bring in any regulation for ‘compulsory’ training of seafarers are fiercely resisted,” Halbe said, adding that the lack of shipboard training berths is the biggest challenge faced by the ship manning sector globally and especially in India.

He claims that from the very beginning of a seafarer’s career as a new trainee, their onboard duty is inextricably related to their development as professionally competent seafarers.

Halbe stated that the lack of sufficient shipboard training berths has a negative impact on the hiring of young Indian seafarers and is consequently a problem for the Indian marine manning industry.

The organisation claims that the Central Government actively sought out stakeholders’ input when developing the Maritime Vision 2030, which will set a goal to expand the proportion of Indian seafarers from the present 8% to 20% of the global seafarers’ supply pool.

”To achieve this target, up-skilling Indian seafarers, beyond the minimum, will be a positive step, as traditionally, the global shipping companies look for economically viable options for manning their ships. ”By up-skilling our maritime manpower, we will be able to offer them a skill arbitrage rather than a cost arbitrage,” Halbe said.

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