Short Course Growth
Record growth in short courses driven by major changes to ocean seafarer training has kept the team at AMCS extremely busy.
A total of 3500 short course certificates were issued in 2014, representing a 50 per cent increase on the previous year and bringing 4,861 accommodation nights to Launceston from the students attending the courses.
Launceston Mayor Albert Van Zetten welcomed this achievement and the broad-ranging benefits it brought to the entire region.
“The Australian Maritime College is a tremendous player in the cultural, social and economic success of our city, and the fact it draws so many interstate and international students is fantastic for Launceston,” he said.
“Not only is AMC a drawcard for Northern Tasmania, it brings experts to our region. It allows partnerships between private enterprise and researchers, broadens our cultural understandings, and increases knowledge.”
AMCS is AMC’s commercial arm responsible for tailoring training to meet industry needs. It delivers between five to 12 short courses per week, varying in length from one-day refresher courses through to longer 20-day block training sessions.
“AMC provides students with the training they need to go and work in the maritime industry; once they’re working in the maritime industry we give them what they want to either maintain their existing qualifications or to expand and grow,” AMCS Deputy CEO Cathy Wilson said.
She said last year’s significant growth could be largely attributed to changes within the International Maritime Organization’s Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention introduced by the 2010 Manila amendments.
These amendments state that every oceangoing seafarer’s qualification, which was previously issued in perpetuity, must now be revalidated or refreshed every five years. There are 27,000 seafarers working in Australia and they all have until December 2016 to upgrade their existing qualifications.
AMCS has been working closely with the largest shipping companies to ensure their people are put through the mandatory training as quickly as possible, but there are still many individuals and smaller industries that need to complete it.
“We are making every effort to work with industry to make sure that we can get everyone through by the deadline; and we’ll schedule extra dates and do whatever we can to get them through,” Mrs Wilson said.
In addition to this, it is now mandatory for all oceangoing seafarers to have a security awareness endorsement. AMCS was one of the first providers to offer a security awareness course, which they developed online and rolled out in April 2014. There has been great international uptake, with seafarers from Australia, the UK, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Europe completing the online course.
Another major area of growth is in the delivery of company specific training courses, with AMCS posting a 33 per cent increase in 2014 for this type of training.
Company specific training is developed in consultation with the client to meet an identified need or defined outcome. For example, AMCS has worked closely with three organisations operating out of the Gladstone terminal to develop an LNG mooring operations course and is in the process of developing an LNG firefighting course.
“Company specific training courses now account for more than half of our business, and this is a testament to the hard work of the team, to AMC’s brand and how it’s perceived in industry,” Mrs Wilson said.