Trade winds beckon for life on the high seas
Hong Kong is renowned for its busy shipping lanes and sophisticated container terminals and within this frenetic activity are diverse opportunities for the maritime-minded.
Jack Haworth, manager of the purpose- built Vocational Training Council's Seamen's Training Centre in Tuen Mun, is quick to point out a wide range of marine- related industries which need enthusiastic and motivated young people.
The training centre provides cadets with a career structure which follows on from diploma, higher diploma and a degree or Masters Certificate, gained by passing examinations and service at sea.
There are also plans to establish a Maritime Training Institute, which will involve several technical institutes in Hong Kong and mainland China as a network offering the best facilities, lectures and equipment.
Through the Joint Admissions Scheme for Post-Secondary Institutions Courses (JASPIC), students who complete their secondary education with the required grades and have good eyesight can apply to join the two-year diploma cadet course in maritime studies.
Graduates have a choice of career paths, including navigation, electronics, engineering, communications or medicine.
Each year, the centre accepts about 20 cadets for the diploma in maritime studies - 64 entrant ratings, 20 deck cadet officers and 3,000 in-service seafarers who wish to upgrade their skills.
William L. W. Wong, chief instructor (maritime studies), said a new cadet was someone who had done well at school and was looking for adventure and the chance to become more responsible.