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Topical Issue Debate -Maritime Training

Posted: July 14, 2016

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Acting Chairman (Deputy Maria Bailey): 

Deputies Martin Kenny, Martin Ferris, Micheál Martin (Leader of Opposition) and Thomas Pringle have three minutes each.

 

Deputy Martin Kenny:  

“More than 400 people who have been trained by the National Maritime College of Ireland over the past year or so now find that they are not being certified. If this situation is not resolved, all of these people will be out of work from 1 January 2017. They will be unable to take up positions in Ireland or anywhere else in the world. It is intolerable that these people cannot be employed on any vessel anywhere until they get this certification in place. There seems to be some kind of stand-off between the Marine Survey Office, which is part of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the National Maritime College of Ireland. We need to get this resolved as quickly as possible. Many of these people cannot go anywhere else in the world to get these courses. They took these courses in good faith and expected that everything would be all right. It is intolerable that they have been left out in the cold in this manner. I implore the Minister to sort out this problem as a matter of urgency. It needs to be done immediately in order that people can be reassured. No one is aware of any reason this situation has not been resolved up to now”

 

Deputy Martin Ferris : 

Up to 400 seafarers and 20 lecturers are poised to lose their jobs on 1 January 2017. Their jobs will be at risk unless we resolve a dispute between the National Maritime College of Ireland and the Marine Survey Office. In February 2015, the National Maritime College of Ireland made a submission to the Marine Survey Office seeking approval of a refresher course, but it has not yet received such approval. Following the Marine Survey Office’s failure to respond, the National Maritime College of Ireland approached the UK Marine and Coastguard Agency through a dedicated maritime offshore joint venture training company. The UK agency is highly regarded globally and has approved courses undertaken in a number of EU member states, including France, Spain, the Netherlands and Croatia. Every member state recognises the appropriate certificates issued by other member states. The seafaring upgrade that was carried out by the UK Marine and Coastguard Agency in conjunction with the National Maritime College of Ireland relates to on-board safety and basic seafaring safety skills. The Minister can resolve the stand-off that has developed as a consequence of all this. He needs to convince the Marine Survey Office of the legitimacy of the refresher courses that were provided by the UK Marine and Coastguard Agency. The agency, which is recognised globally, came here to provide these courses, and 400 seafarers took part in them.

 

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