Mea­sures to boost mar­itime train­ing

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment of the mar­itime sec­tor of the Cyprus econ­omy has been and re­mains a steady tar­get of achieve­ment and pri­or­ity of all the Min­is­ters of Transport, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Works.

Cyprus, through its at­trac­tive busi­ness in­fra­struc­ture that was cre­ated in the past 30 years, has man­aged to be­come one of the big­gest ship man­age­ment cen­tres in the world, main­tain­ing at the same time one of the big­gest ship reg­is­ters. The one thou­sand or so seago­ing ves­sels that raise the Cyprus flag and the more than 140 ship man­age­ment com­pa­nies that are based in Cyprus, rank our coun­try among the global lead­ers in the mer­chant ma­rine sec­tor.

The com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions that com­prise the mar­itime net­work of Cyprus presently em­ploy al­most 4,500 peo­ple, of whom, the vast ma­jor­ity are Cypri­ots.

There are def­i­nitely par­tic­u­larly favourable con­di­tions that will al­low this sec­tor to grow even fur­ther, by at­tract­ing some of the big­gest ship­ping com­pa­nies in the world. But our big­gest weak­ness is prob­a­bly the sig­nif­i­cant lack of tech­ni­cal per­son­nel with sea­far­ing ser­vice.

The Min­istry of Transport, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Works and the De­part­ment of Mer­chant Ship­ping have fore­seen this vast need and are al­ready pro­mot­ing a num­ber of mea­sures in or­der to in­crease the num­ber of young of­fi­cers of the mer­chant navy, such as:

- pro­mo­tion of this pro­fes­sion at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity within schools and ex­hi­bi­tions;

- in­crease the num­ber of places avail­able at the Greek Mer­chant Navy Academies to 40 a year;

- change in leg­is­la­tion to al­low young mer­chant navy of­fi­cers to rise up the ranks of their pro­fes­sion;

- sub­sidy of 12-month prac­ti­cal train­ing of mer­chant ma­rine cadet of­fi­cers with a sig­nif­i­cant amount that reaches up to EUR 7,200 a year per cadet;

- pro­vi­sion of schol­ar­ship worth EUR 45,000 a year to students of mer­chant ma­rine academies in Cyprus.

Mar­itime ed­u­ca­tion in Cyprus, un­til today, has not been com­pre­hen­sive, as the miss­ing piece was the train­ing of young mer­chant ma­rine of­fi­cers. Ac­cord­ing to the in­for­ma­tion we have, the in­ter­est among Cypri­ots to at­tend mar­itime stud­ies has sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved in re­cent years, a fac­tor that greatly favours the cre­ation of a mar­itime acad­emy at this mo­ment.

Equally im­por­tant was that the ini­tia­tive of the Univer­sity of Ni­cosia was widely em­braced by the mar­itime com­mu­nity and is be­ing held in co­op­er­a­tion with it.

I would like to re­as­sure every­one that the Min­istry will con­tinue to warmly sup­port ev­ery ef­fort that aim to pro­mote mar­itime ed­u­ca­tion and the mar­itime sec­tor of Cyprus. I am sure that the es­tab­lish­ment of the Mar­itime Acad­emy will be a suc­cess.

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