More Seychellois seamen qualify for international job opportunities | 22 October 2020
Sixteen more Seychellois seamen are now qualified to take up positions on international commercial vessels, having successfully completed the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping basic courses with the Seychelles Maritime Academy.
The group of seafarers were yesterday morning remitted with their certificates during a brief ceremony held at the professional centre, in the presence of Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Jeanne Simeon, principal secretary for tertiary education Dr Linda Barallon, principal secretary for fisheries Jude Talma, chief executive of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) Nichol Elizabeth and deputy chief executive of SFA Calvin Gerry.
In all, the seamen completed five basic modules of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), namely elementary first aid, fire prevention and fire-fighting, personal safety and social responsibility, security awareness and survival techniques, based on the internationally-recognised STCW Convention.
Held over a period of 13 days, comprising both theoretical and practical work, the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA) conducted the training in two batches, with the second batch having completed on Monday.
Both batches’ programmes were funded by the SFA, and the seamen are expected to join the fleet of European Union flagged purse seiner vessels with their newly earned certifications.
“The academy has been offering the courses since 2015 to Seychellois, including all the youths who are on Seychelles Petroleum Company (Seypec) tankers. The certification is internationally recognised which means they can gain employment anywhere around the world. It opens up jobs to our seamen, which contributes towards the local economy. Seychelles can in future compete with other countries who are now providing purse seiners. Presently, mostly persons from West Africa working on purse seiners but if more Seychellois are qualified, we could replace them,” said deputy director of education and training at SMA, Captain Wilton Ernesta.
SMA is the only centre accredited by the Seychelles Qualification Authority (SQA) to offer the course in Seychelles. An advanced version is also available at SMA for interested seamen who either form part of an organisation, as well as to private applicants. The total cost for the five basic modules is at R13,000.
“I had the chance to talk to all the participants and I also lecture them on ship security awareness, and they really like it. Even if they have experience at sea, most like getting knowledge that they previously did not have. At the academy we are ready to offer the course but the seamen must grasp the opportunity and look towards the long-term and their future. This is why our chosen theme is ‘Opportunities beyond the horizon’,” Captain Ernesta added.
SMA will be administering the programme to 26 additional seamen in 2021, to be funded by the SFA.