Vietnamese seamen in high demand
By Manh Ha
HA NOI (VNS) - Viet Nam plans to train 39,000 maritime officers and crew members to meet local and export demands, said captain Tieu Van Kinh, chairman of Viet Nam's Captains Club.
With a coastline of 3,260 km and a population of nearly 90 million people, Viet Nam is considered to be in an ideal position for maritime transport, Kinh said.
This was why the marine economy was regarded as a major force in the national economy. Kinh said the promotion of maritime transport would speed up economic development throughout the country.
But to achieve the goal, it was important to train highly skilled human resources, the chairman said.
The Department of Overseas Labour said Viet Nam had been hiring out its seamen overseas since 1992. Forty local companies had sent more than 18,000 crew members to work on vessels owned by Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese companies.
Viet Nam also sends many crew members to work on foreign fishing vessels where they can earn between US$250 to $600 a month.
The local labour export association said foreign shipping companies had high demand for Vietnamese, but the nation could only supply 30 to 50 per cent of the demand. Many of the overseas workers joined fishing vessels.
Viet Nam Maritime Administration said that from 2010 to 2015, the country could train about 4,800-5,000 maritime officers and 8,000-8,500 crew members.
But Dang Van Uy, Rector of Viet Nam Maritime University, said it was not easy to train such a large number of crew members because of the shortage of qualified education.
Uy said several foreign shipping companies had offered scholarships and jobs to students who would later work for them.
To Van Long, deputy director of UT-STC Human Resources Training Marine Limited Company, said his company had trained 260 outstanding students on such scholarships in the past six years.
Vu Van Tai, vice chairman of HCM City Marine Science and Economics, said the State should increase investment in training facilities and create preferential policies to encourage organisations and individuals to get involved in training.
Tai said local training schools should expand co-operation with maritime countries to develop more joint-venture training models. - VNS