SUNBIZ

International Opportunities For Local Seafarers

Fijian seafarers now have the opportunity to work internationally, says president of CINEC Maritime Campus in Sri Lanka, Captain Ajith Peiris. He made the comments in relations to the rebranding
11 Mar 2015 07:36
International Opportunities For Local Seafarers
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Fiji Maritime Academy on Monday. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

Fijian seafarers now have the opportunity to work internationally, says president of CINEC Maritime Campus in Sri Lanka, Captain Ajith Peiris.

He made the comments in relations to the rebranding of the School of Maritime Studies to Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) on Monday after being awarded with an International Organisation for Standardisation.

FMA is now under the management group of Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC).

He said Fijian seafarers would make-up for the decreasing numbers from popular maritime nations.

“There are number of ships being built internationally and experts predict that this trend will continue for the next few years,” Captain Peiris said.

“However, the numbers of seafarers from the popular maritime nations are decreasing, hence there will be great opportunities for the seafarers from countries like Fiji to be employed on these ships in the future.

“This will be a reality provided the knowledge, skill levels, mind-set and attitude of the Fijian seafarers are changes to suit the expectations of international shipping industry.”

He said this is what they strive to achieve through proper and customised training of the Fiji seafarers.

“In return this will result in bringing in considerable foreign exchange to the country and lifting the living standards of Fiji islands which are essential ingredients for the economic and social development of a country,” Captain Peiris said.

He said they now have a tough mission to accomplish but they have the confidence to achieve this given the understanding and assistance from all stakeholders in the Maritime Industry in Fiji and all at Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA).

He revealed that the interest in the management of SMS by CINEC surfaced after a few visits to CINEC in 2012/13 by the Attorney General and Minister for Public Enterprises Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, High Commission of the Republic of India/Sri Lanka Yogesh Karan and Dr Ganesh Chand the former vice-chancellor of Fiji National University at the invitation of Dr Parakrama Dissanayake, the joint managing director of CINEC who is also the Honorary Counsel for Fiji in Sri Lanka.

Thereafter, many discussions took place between the Mr Chand and CINEC in order to arrive at the best course of action for CINEC to support SMSs to regain its international

The main objective of this task, according to Captain Peiris is to establish SMS as an internationally recognised maritime training facility and also to bring back the status it has in the past as the “Hub for Maritime Training in the South Pacific Islands.”

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