Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of the Emirate’s community and commercial ports as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone, honoured the first enrolled batch of students for completing the first phase of training in its certified Coastal Seafaring course to become seafarers in the future.
The first batch included 16 Emiratis, including four women, who are set to become the first female seafarers in the UAE and the region upon completion of the full training programme of vessels up to 24 meters long.
The ceremony, held at the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Ports, was attended by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports; Captain Jasim Al Khamiri, Manager of ADNOC Petroleum Ports Authority ;Phillip Lenthall, Course Leader at the Australian Maritime College (AMC); and several senior managers and staff from Abu Dhabi Ports, and IRSHAD (Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Operating Company) an ADNOC Group company and National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC).
The students completed a key element of the Coastal Seafaring programme which included a 10-week theoretical and practical training course. With that, they were able to successfully pass the exams of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Federal Transport Authority-Land & Maritime (FTA). The following levels will feature a four-month practical training on-board vessels.
This specialised marine training programme for seafarers commenced in early 2016 as a partnership between Abu Dhabi Ports, and Australian Maritime College (AMC) at the University of Tasmania, a leading Australian national academic institution that specialises in marine education, training and research.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said: “Our partnership with AMC comes in line with the directives of our wise leadership which aim to support development programmes that target our National workforce. This partnership as well as the accreditation of FTA gave the training programme a strong boost. The significance of this programme is not only limited to providing our trainees with internationally-accredited degrees, but also strengthens Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a prominent platform for enriching and managing Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes in the ports and maritime transport domains.”
He added: “The larger goal of this programme is to cater to the needs of the regional navigation sector. Other GCC countries have shown an immense interest in sending students to join our dedicated training programme for seafarers considering the leading position of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as leading maritime hubs. The training programme is set to expand beginning of September this year to include the training of maritime masters and engineers operating big vessels of all sizes.”
“Abu Dhabi Ports will continue to play a leading role in the maritime sector through providing the first international training programme for seafarers of mercantile vessels in the UAE and the region. We are particularly proud of the growing role played by Emirati women in the maritime sector; the word impossible is no longer in the dictionary of Emirati women as they become more empowered across all fields,” Capt. Al Shamisi concluded.
Phillip Lenthall, Course Leader at the Australian Maritime College, said: “AMC is delighted with the opportunity to partner with Abu Dhabi Ports to conduct this ambitious training programme successfully. Over the past 10 weeks, our students have shown determination in achieving their individual goals with regard to their careers in the maritime sector. This VET course has provided them with a mix of theory and hands-on training that allows them to join vessel crews in the future.”
Dr. Nasser Mansoori, Senior Training Manager of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The success of this programme is the result of teamwork involving the senior management of Abu Dhabi Ports and the steering committee of the training course, specifically Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi, CEO Abu Dhabi Ports, who has been a strong pillar of this project from the outset. The programme would not have been possible without the support of ADNOC and ADNOC Group of Companies, IRSHAD and National Marine Dredging Company, SAFEEN – Abu Dhabi Marine Services and their sustained efforts in providing boats, equipment and personnel assistance to the project. Our appreciation is also due to AMC and in particular to the AMC Seafarer Staff who have patiently assisted this programme through working tirelessly in the last 10 weeks of the course.”
Trainees, especially females, have expressed their pride in successfully completing the first level of the comprehensive coastal seafaring programme. Female participants were eager to graduate to become the first Emirati female marine masters in the region. Upon completion of the programme’s theoretical and practical training they will be able to master vessels up to 24 meters long.
Female participants have also highlighted the role of the wise government of Abu Dhabi in enabling Emirati women to contribute in all fields which inspired them to accomplish unique milestones in all their endeavours including the maritime industry. Trainees have also encouraged their counterparts to join the next cycle of AMC’s training programme which will commence in Abu Dhabi in February.
Ali Ahmed Al Dhanhani, one the participating trainees who received the award of excellence for his outstanding performance, expressed his pride in joining the course and thanked Abu Dhabi Ports and IRSHAD for their unwavering support to the candidates from the day the programme started.