Graduate engineering and diploma students interested in the merchant navy now have an option of taking up a 17-week electro-technical officers training programme.

Eastern India-based Seacom Marine College introduces a 17-week Electro Technical Officers Training programme starting next year. B-Tech engineers (EE/ECE/EEE/EIE) seeking a global career in the merchant navy and as seafarers will not have to look far beyond Kolkata anymore. Located in Howrah, West Bengal, the college promises state-of-the-art hostel facility, class rooms, laboratories and workshops, medical facility, library and so on. The residential course of 17 weeks will be followed by on-board training for eight months, to equip the students with practical training.

When asked where the students will spend the on-board training, Mr Anish Chakraborty, Chairman of the Seacom group replied, “All students will be associated with national and international shipping companies. The companies will select their candidates after the course commences.” All the students can expect to be given hands-on training (installation, repair and maintenance) on all marine electrical and electronics installations onboard the ship.

“The course is designed as per international and national maritime requirements and the 17-week course and eight month on-board training will be sufficient to train graduate engineering or diploma students in the entire principles of working under the new post, Electro Technical Officer (ETO),” says Mr Chakraborty.

On completion of the course, all successful candidates will be designated under the new STCW 2010 convention as “Electro Technical Officer” and eventually get a “Certificate of Competency (CoC),” which is a seafaring certificate, from Mercantile Marine Department, Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India.

But why should a student choose the Seacom package? Mr Chakraborty says, “There is no other similar or equivalent course in the marine or non-marine sectors. Electrical and electronics engineering, electrical and instrumentation engineering, electrical and communication engineering, electrical engineering candidates will be worthy as ETO professionals working in merchant navy, just as others who work as marine engineers or nautical officers on ships.”

The job prospects seem good according to Mr Chakraborty, “On successful completion of this course the student can be immediately absorbed in the industry with a starting scale of Rs. 60,000 to one lakh for Indian ships and $1500 - 2000 per month, approximately, in foreign flag vessels. This is an indicator only, but for experienced ETOs the salary structures are much higher.”