The seamen's committee of the Asian Shipowners Forum has expressed deep concern at the increasing shortage of qualified seafarers worldwide.
The committee meeting in Tokyo, chaired by Li Shanmin, managing director of Cosco Manning Co-operation Inc, said it was pleased that several research projects were being undertaken by member associations to review effective ways of recruiting to maintain continuity of employment of seafarers.
It noted the efforts of the Association of Maritime Education and Training Institutions in Asia and the Pacific and of maritime academies in the mainland and Taiwan to continue to provide maritime education and training.
The committee agreed to develop and maintain links with other organisations to exchange ideas for upgrading training standards within the region.
A series of working groups will be formed to tackle issues such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) minimum wages, implementation of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), minimum safe manning and seafarers' training.
The committee discussed working hours and rest periods for all seafarers as defined by the ILO and the STCW'95 convention.
It also noted that Asian governments had adopted training records as requested by the STCW'95 convention.
Separately, the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA), the Hong Kong joint branch of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects and the Institute of Marine Engineers are organising a three-day training course for members from November 9.
The course - Fundamentals of Contract and Change Management for Ship Construction, Repair and Design - will provide an in-depth exposition of the subject and will cover a wide spectrum of practical issues.
Those interested can contact the HKSOA for more information.