• 2015 July 14

    Dedicated professionals

    Global fleet comprising some 1.5 mln crewmembers carries about 90% of all cargoes worldwide. However, IMO says commercial fleet lacks some 40,000 officers. Shortage of personnel and training fleet, necessity to enhance the profession prestige and other issues were discussed at the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping by the heads of Russia’s leading sea and river transport institutions.

    One of the key challenges in maritime education was outlined by Igor Kuzmichev, Rector of the Volga State University of Water Transport (Nizhni Novgorod): “the prestige of the profession wanes”.

    The University tries to solve this problem through an extensive work on occupational guidance, Igor Kuzmichev says.

    He was supported by Sergei Baryshnikov, Rector of Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping (Saint-Petersburg), who said that the University should attract dedicated persons, ready to work in the sea.

    It seams that the only high institution in the sector to have no demand problems is the Kerch State Maritime Technological University (Crimea). According to Rector Yevgeny Masyutkin, the University is as popular as before and last year saw the highest enrolment.

    The prestige of the diploma for work at inland water ways was touched by Oleg Solyakov, Pro-rector for Research at Moscow State Academy of Water Transport.

    Another well known problem of almost all Russian high educational institutions is insufficient teaching staff.

    Shipboard personnel is trained at five tall ships; Mir, Nadezhda, Pallada, Sedov and Kruzenshtern as well as at M/V Professor Khlyustin.

    According to Sergey Ogay, Rector of Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University (Vladivostok), Russia needs a stronger training fleet.

    He reminded that Central Marine Research and Design Institute (CNIIMF) has already developed a project of a self-sustaining training ship of ice class.

    “The concept implies the construction of a cargo ship able to carry passengers. If such a vessel appears it can operate permanently while cadets are trained, in the Arctic as well,” Sergei Ogay said.

    No financing has been found for construction of this vessel so far. As of today, Sergei Ogay arranges cooperation of the University with large shipping companies, like Sovcomflot.

    The Nevelskoy University is set to expand cooperation through the development of procedures for attraction of young specialists to postgraduate training programs and SCF support.

    “Besides, the best SCF crewmembers will be involved in shipboard training”, Rector said.

    Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping is the leader in cooperation with ship owners. It has agreements with 15 foreign shipping companies. The University cadets are trained at the ships of Sovcomflot, Northern Shipping Company, StenaLine, Teekay, Columbia Shipmanagement, FEMCO etc.

    Russian educational institutions will succeed in handling problems if they are supported by the state.  Maritime education issues are included into the sub-programme of the federal targeted programme “Development of Russia’s Transport System”. Sergei Ogay believes that implementation of the large-scale projects under the programme will let the maritime educational institutions compete with the world’s leading maritime schools.

    Margarita Babkova.

    Photo Yuliya Leonenko.