There are about 30 institutions providing training for skill upgrades

The downturn in the shipping industry has forced many maritime institutes providing advanced courses to drop their fees by up to 20 per cent to attract merchant navy officers to upgrade their skills.

“Now training fees for advanced courses have corrected by 20 per cent from their peak rates,” admitted Captain Nalin Pandey, founder Director and Chairman of Pentagon Maritime Training and Research Institute, a New Mumbai-based institute that provides advanced training to Indians and foreigners.

“However, the prevailing sentiment has thrown an opportunity for Indian seafarers to upgrade their skill sets wisely at affordable costs,” he added.

The cost of maritime training in India is normally over 40 per cent cheaper than the rates prevailing in the United Kingdom and about 30 per cent lower than in Singapore. And now the further 20 per cent drop in fees has come as an added attraction for many seafarers to acquire multiple skills.

“Yes, it is a fact that many training institutes providing post-sea training have reduced their fees but the cut is not across the board. It is institute-specific. Many institutes have kept their fees unchanged,” said Captain Ashok Aggarwal, Senior Faculty, Distant Learning & Post Sea Courses, Tolani Maritime Institute, Mumbai.

He said that many institutes were suffering due to the overall bleak scenario gripping the shipping industry. There are about 30 institutions providing training for skill upgrades approved by the Directorate-General of Shipping in India.

Over 70,000 maritime officers working in the global shipping industry are from India, and they opt for receiving various training as the Maritime Agenda 2020 which states that all port personnel, including officers, should re-train them towards multi-skilling. It says that every employee shall undergo different tiers of training programme during his service. Apart from Indians, many foreigners were upgrading their skills in India due to the cost advantage, said maritime sources.

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