Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Grooming of deck Cadets – 6 (current situation)

8000 plus cadets waiting ashore, each of them only about 12 to 18 months of sea time away from being able to appear for their professional exams, but instead of getting an assignment on ship in standard 2 to 3 months they now having to wait for 12 to 20 months and some of them not even getting a ship at all, they look elsewhere for a job …..  is this scenario covered in any ‘curriculum’? Of course no! But that’s what happening in some of the major maritime manpower supplier countries right now …..

Today’s cadets also often get multi-national officers that are their immediate seniors on board  who may have just about scraped through to the careers themselves … and then there are those high up ‘senior’ multi-nationalities on board who spend much time preaching how ‘during their times’ as the younger Cadet officers they were much capable than today’s large percentage of Apps-dependent – vastly un-seaman like generation … all this being highly unproductive for the real grooming of the cadets on board !!

For this reason, as an example, for serious business such as the operations of the Electronic Chart Display Systems (ECDIS) – the IMO (International Maritime Organization) have rejected the ‘trickle down training’ on board as regards the operation of type specific ECDIS. Time has come when the cadets themselves have to keep in mind that ‘every senior’ is not necessarily ‘right’ but just doing in one of the many ways of ship operations. The first thing Cadets need to understand is this discrimination between the right-way & the wrong-way while they go on learning on board during their training.


A cadet who is trained to understand or think as to –

  • Appraise what the activities are for the day?
  • the regulatory frame work for those activities
  • the procedural frame work for it
  • the ‘best practices’ for it
  • the industry standards for them

at least for the planned jobs in that, because a ship’s work is always a mixture of planned, unplanned and emergency activities at any given moment… will be able to better optimize his/her time on board as cadet and work on it to learn while on land for the long breaks between shipboard assignments that now expected in the current situation ….

If the Cadets waiting for long durations on land away from the maritime environment due to the current ‘flooding’ in some countries – their future careers are at risks of being of mediocre working ability in general …. the ‘impact’ of this can be on global marine operations standards and the way the business is done in a longer run ….

Safe sailings!

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