Seafarers needed for shipping

WORKING on the high seas and earning a six figure salary for six months work might sound like a bit of a pipedream but for Whitsunday residents the opportunity to earn qualifications to work on the open water has never been better.

The world shipping industry is facing a critical shortage of qualified seafarers.

Like many of the heavy industries, Australian shipping companies do not have enough supply of mariners to meet demand.

They need more integrated ratings, deck officers, marine engineers, and chefs, who hold internationally recognised qualifications issued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

A new AMSA course being run by the Whitsunday Sailing Club this year has given Whitsunday residents the chance to earn qualifications that will act as a key stepping stone to a career on foreign going vessels such as superyachts, cruise ships, offshore oil and gas supply vessels and larger blue water cargo ships.

There has already been one course held this year and another will be held at the end of this month, starting on April 28.

There are 12 places available in each of the six day courses.

The course includes two full days of practical fire fighting.

Whitsunday Sailing Club member, captain John Lynch said while world economies may have slowed due to the global financial crisis, the Australian resources sector is preparing for the next boom.

“This will create hundreds of employment opportunities across the industry for both coastal and foreign going qualified mariners alike,” he said.

“Hands up anyone who would like to work only six months of the year, on an even time on and time off roster, for better than $100,000 per annum?”

For further information on gaining entry level training toward the Basic Sea Safety Certificate, contact Kaye Williams at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on 4946 6138.

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