IMO Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization Koji Sekimizu addressed staff and cadets on the golden jubilee of the Bangladesh Marine Academy.
Excerps from the speech:
"In the 50 years since the Bangladesh Maritime Academy took its first influx of new cadet trainees, it has established a strong reputation for producing a consistent stream of diligent, conscientious, capable and highly-qualified personnel for the shipping industry. This has not happened without a great deal of foresight, planning and sheer hard work from a large number of people: from politicians, to the Academy staff and, indeed, to the cadets and trainees themselves.
The modern ship’s officer needs to be far more than a navigator or an engineer, and the modern ship’s crewman needs to be far more than a manual labourer. A modern ship is a highly technical workplace, which means that, as well as a highly advanced technical skillset, shipboard staff now also need to be fully conversant with management and communication skills, I.T. knowledge, budget management and so on.
The Academy has continually developed and evolved its training offerings in order to meet these changing demands. The initial pre-sea cadet training, designed to enable trainees to join ocean-going ships as deck or engineer cadets, has been supplemented with various post-sea and ancillary courses. IMO Model courses have been introduced to the curriculum.
The Bangladesh Maritime Academy has played an important part in putting Bangladesh on the “White List” of countries properly implementing the STCW Convention.
In producing so many trained and competent seafarers, you have also helped to maintain a labour resource on which the world depends – even if most people do not realize or understand it."
People within the maritime sector are familiar with the role of the seafarer. For shipping companies, seafarers are the embodiment of their business and they are a critical asset.
However, even they may not be completely aware of the sheer scale of effort that seafarers expend, and the physical and psychological challenges that they face."