Article from Fairplay 13 December 2007
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will introduce “near-coastal” certificates for deck and engineering officers next year, in a bid to remedy the maritime labour shortage. AMSA’s manager of ship operations and qualifications, Mark Eldon-Roberts, told the organisation’s National Shipping Conference that AMSA was updating its policy in order to recognise the maritime qualifications of navy and customs personnel, as well as those working on trailer hopper suction dredgers. The certification changes, which could appear in the first half of 2008, will bring AMSA’s national qualification regime in line with the systems of individual Australian states, allowing officers a “vertical career line”. Around 1,200 qualified personnel leave the Royal Australian Navy each year and AMSA hopes to draw some into the STCW system. The purpose… is to allow a tinny to tanker progression,” Eldon-Roberts commented. The NSCV Part D near-coastal certificates will be limited to Australia’s EEZ. Eldon-Roberts declared the changes were “actually quite revolutionary” and would also form part of a general review of Marine Orders Part 3, which will incorporate the amended STCW Code and altered gross tonnage limitations. A draft of the Marine Orders should be ready by Easter next year.