Monday, July 9, 2012
China faces merchant mariner shortage
China is reportedly not turning out professional mariners fast enough to meet the country’s growing merchant fleet demand.
The China Daily reported that more than 10,000 college graduates there have joined the merchant mariner ranks since 2006 as part of a government-funded program that supports the country’s shipping industry.
However, China’s colleges are not able to keep up with the country’s expanding trade demand, with only a few thousand merchant seamen coming on line each year, the Daily reported.
"It takes just months to build a large boat, but at least four to five years to train a qualified seaman to operate it," said Li Enhong, director of merchant seamen management at the Ministry of Transport.
The government program includes subsidizing one year of merchant mariner training for college students who are majoring in non-maritime-related disciplines.
College graduates in China can reportedly earn significantly higher wages than many other professions.
"A helmsman can earn $2,000 a month after several years working in China," said Chen Fuhan, deputy dean of Dalian Maritime University. "This is definitely a good wage compared with many jobs for graduates," he said.
For the full China Daily story: www.chinadaily.com.cn
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