During a recent meeting with the STCW Advisory Council, MARINA OIC – Administrator Narciso Vingson Jr. brought up the topic of maritime training and certifications in the country. He opened the floor for suggestions on how to improve the state of the maritime curriculum. Moreover, Vingson Jr. also discussed a career plan so that seafarers and trainees are aware of the prerequisite courses they need to enroll in for certification.
Regarding the latter part of his discussion, such a career plan would indeed be a helpful way to inform people on the maritime courses in the Philippines they need to take. Whether these be basic training programs for seamen or STCW refresher courses for more experienced personnel, knowledge of what to enroll in is crucial. But because the mentioned career plan is still in its proposal stage, here’s how you can stay on top of the required programs you need to take with the resources you have.
Determine the position you want
Before looking at the mandatory programs you need to undergo, it helps to determine what seafaring position you would want to fulfill onboard. There are many positions onboard the vessel and these are often classified depending on the department. If you’re unsure of what you want to be, do thorough research on the ranks and titles on the ship and the duties of each individual position. From there, weigh the pros and cons then choose jobs that you feel would suit you the most.
Research on the requirements
Once you’ve chosen a position, you then need to do your research on the requirements. You have to know what’s required in terms of both your education as well as the common employment necessities such as government papers, medical certificates, and the like. Typically, you can find a thorough list of the courses you need to take on the websites of the seafarer training centers. There are also seafaring blogs that give you a comprehensive run-through of the mandatories as well as how you can process them.
Check regularly for updates
Of course, with the ever-changing maritime landscape, more updates are being made to the current maritime training scene. This means that as changes are made, the prerequisite courses may be increased, decreased, or changed entirely. With this, it’s best if you regularly check any announcements on maritime organizations’ websites about any adjustments to the curriculum. That way, you’re always in the know and can adjust your schedule and training plan accordingly.
Being aware of the steps you need to take to become a certified seafarer is needed for a variety of reasons. Aside from it painting a clear trajectory of your training, it also helps you save time taking up courses that are unnecessary to the position you want. It can also help you narrow down on which training center to enroll in depending on the courses they offer. But because more efforts are being made to improve the current programs, always keep yourself updated of any amendments that may change your training trajectory. This is so you don’t end up taking what would be an outdated curriculum. You can also get an improved and more thorough training experience to prepare you for your future maritime career.