Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of the Emirate’s ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone, and the Australian Maritime College (AMC), a specialist institute of the University of Tasmania for maritime education, training and research, have joined forces to deliver their first certified coastal seafaring courses in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Ports’ initiative comes to fulfil Abu Dhabi’s vision of developing a capable workforce, further reinforcing its role in delivering high-quality training in ports and transhipment across the UAE. As such, the courses aim to equip seafarers with the specialised knowledge and professional skills to enhance service and performance levels.

Launched earlier this month, the coastal seafaring programme represents AMC’s first overseas vocational education and training (VET) course. 16 students, 12 men and 4 women, joined the training programme seeking qualification to work as a Master on a commercial vessel up to 24 and 35 metres in length within the coastal waters in UAE. This is the first time such courses are conducted in the region and in particular, the first time four UAE National females choose seafaring as a career.

Commenting on the collaboration, Captain Mohamad Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Abu Dhabi Ports continues to lead the regional maritime industry by bringing world-class specialised VET training for the first time to the UAE and the region. We are also proud of the growing role of women and their interest in the field.”

“Being a graduate myself from the Australian Maritime College, I can assure all seafaring enthusiasts in the UAE that this training programme represents a great learning opportunity to acquire in-depth understanding of the maritime business and related activities. We will continue to forge such ties to further expand our seafaring knowledge and build the much-needed skillset to maintain a world-class performance,” he added.

Professor Athanasios (Thanasis) Karlis, Director of AMC’s National Centre for Ports and Shipping, explained why AMC is extending its VET training to Abu Dhabi: “The UAE is a strong seafaring nation and a fast-growing hub for the international maritime industry; as such, it has an immediate demand for qualified seafarers. As a provider of high-quality VET courses for over 30 years, AMC is ideally placed to work with Abu Dhabi Ports and bring its expertise to the country to meet this demand,” he added.