As any seafarer would tell you it is the navigator, who is the most important member of the boat’s crew. Training youth to be skilled navigators using the new technology is one of the major programmes of the Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical Engineering and Training (CIFNET).

The CIFNET on the Beach Road opposite the Fishing Harbour is offering a 24-month programme to become a Vessel Navigator under a scheme of the Directorate General of Employment and Training of the Ministry of Labour. The candidates are paid a stipend of Rs 1500 for the duration of the course. The course includes basic practical training on board fishing vessels out at sea, an official of the CIFNET explained.

The candidates should have passed Class X or equivalent examination with 50 per cent marks in science and maths separately. A one year fishing experience is desirable.

There are 16 seats available in Visakhapatnam for Vessel Navigator and 16 seats for Marine Fitter training. These two courses – Vessel Navigator and Marine Fitter – are being offered at the three campuses of CIFNET at Kochi, Chennai, and Visakhapatnam. Prospectus and application form can be had from Deputy Director, CIFNET, Visakhapatnam, on payment of prescribed fee or downloaded from the filled in application has to be submitted by May 16 at CIFNET, Kochi. An entrance exam would be held on June 21 and the course begins on August 1.