Demand and Supply of Seafarers

Bangladesh Marine Academy cadets in crisis

Posted on Jan 7, 2015

Bangladesh Marine Academy cadets in crisis

Marine Academy in Crisis

In last few months, we have seen a lot of conversations in various forums about the acute situation in the maritime job market.

A “Mariner’s Forum” was established to address various issues facing the future officer sailors specifically about the fake CDC and COCs including lack of job opportunities. Obviously there is a downturn in the shipping market and it has become more complex with the advent of illicit activities of providing fake papers to join the shipping industry. As a result Bangladesh has earned a bad reputation worldwide and it is effecting the future marine officers especially the cadets who have graduated from the Bangladesh Marine Academy, Chittagong.

Number of Bangladesh  Marine Academy Cadets, both Deck and Engine,  waiting for employment to complete their 1 year “Sea Time” in order to obtain their B.Sc. degree and be able to appear for their COC is as follows :

47th. Batch —- 160 cadets [passed out in Dec. 2013]

48th. Batch —- 240 cadets [passed out in Dec. 2014]

The scenario for the next two years is as follows:

49th. Batch —- 315 cadets [to pass out in Dec. 2015]

50th. Batch —- 275 cadets [selected to pass out in 2016]

Presently Bangladesh Marine Academy cadets seeking immediate employment is 400 with an additional 590 will be in the job market in the next 2 years.

As of December 2014, approximately 400 candidates from private Marine Academies are looking for their first sea-time and estimated 800 additional private cadets will flood the job market by March 2015. The private academies have guaranteed the government to employ all their graduates aboard foreign flag vessels and not on Bangladeshi flag ships.

The above scenario is a correct depiction of Bangladesh’s future mariners. Thus we turned a prestigious profession into a greedy man-power exporting device.

Bangladesh Marine Academy was established in 1962 in a village called Juldia, Chittagong on the bank of the river Karnafully. An expansive site on over 200 acres of land with a half kilometer ramp leading to a dock on the river, a beautiful site if one looks from the opposite bank of the river. The founding fathers of the Academy envisaged a great educational facility wherein Cadets would be educated for virtually free which will prepare them for the national flag vessels for internship. A couple of years of internship aboard an ocean carrier is required to get the first license to become a certified officer (Engineer or Deck Officer).

Now, the Bangladesh Marine Academy cadets have to pay 5,00,000 Taka for 2 years plus other expenses and yet with a doubtful job or internship. Marine Academy websites and brochures lure them with a promise of a bright future making a lots of money.  Private Marine Academy is charge as much as 20,00,000 Taka plus other expenses to get through the training with a hope of making a killing in the future. Some boys sell their lands and use parent’s savings to get into these academies assuming that all will be fine once they graduate.

Recently the number of national flag vessels have dwindled to just a few and the private companies having Bangladesh registry started forming their own academies and stopped taking cadets from the Bangladesh Marine Academy adding to the plight of the fresh graduates who desperately need sea-time to get their BSc degree as well as their first license. Once the license is achieved the graduates have an excellent chance to get a gainful employment aboard foreign flag vessels ultimately contributing to the economy of Bangladesh.

Presently there are 18 private academies spewing graduates and adding to the already existing poor job market. Some of these academies were set up in small houses or offices and not even near to any water bodies. Adding to this backdrop comes another initiative to open 4 to 6 more Marine Academies under Government ownership in various inland ports. All these initiatives appear to have been badly directed upon receipt of protracted inaccurate data received from various persons representing special interest in the maritime Industry.

Marine Academy 2

Marine Academy now hiring

 

What can we do now?

It is advisable that our government take a positive stand in reducing the intake into the Bangladesh Marine Academy and form a committee comprising of professionals who will make market forecast and adjust the entry of fresh cadets every year. These individuals must not have any conflict of interest and take an oath to never ever form another academy, ever work for one, or having any form of connection to the private Academies or their interests. This group could also convene from time to time to advise the shipping ministry about the better operation of the Bangladesh Marine Academy.  There are many other items which need to be addressed and these should fall in the purview of this committee.

Presented by

Juldia Marine Academy Alumni Association (JMAAA)           www.juldians.org

Bangladesh Marine Academy cadets in crisis


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