Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Taking training seriously

Posted on | February 11, 2013 | No Comments

What on earth can you learn, when you speak a different language from those who are supposed to be teaching you? Sometimes, it appears that raving lunatics have taken over the shipping industry and are intent on making everyone as mad as themselves.

It is the old problem of finding trainee places on board ship for cadets to earn their sea time. One group of mad folk have decreed that accommodation is so tight on a ship that there is no room for even a single trainee, thus restricting the total of training places that are available. And the fact that there are physically no training places aboard ship means that those who operate such vessels can wash their hands of the need to train, and happily poach from others when the need qualified staff.

Then another group of madmen think it is perfectly acceptable to train cadets aboard their ships, when they know the crews they are employing speak a completely different language from the cadets. Never mind the fact that the wretched young person will be effectively isolated in social terms , none of these madmen seems to have realised that it might be darned dangerous if the trainee, who is perhaps aboard a ship for the first time, does something that could be potentially lethal to themselves.

Frankly, an industry that deals with its training in this fashion does not deserve to gain, or retain, bright recruits. But when the addition of a ship flying the national flag is seen to be more important than the reality of employment aboard them, what can we expect.

It is outrageous to expect people to train, and be trained, when trainer and trainee have no common language and the whole deal is a financial device.

The sooner this nettle is grasped, the sooner some degree of sanity might be restored. Cadet ships, the compulsory carriage of training berths, real responsibility for training the next generation – all of these are needed in an industry that sometimes seems to consider short term expediency as the only thing that matters. It is time the regulators got involved in this scandal.

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