AIMPE & AMOU joint training proposal

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AIMPE & AMOU have proposed to the Federal Treasurer and the Strategic Fleet Taskforce that a new national maritime industry traiing program needs to be kick started with a Government sponsored training program.

The joint letter sent to the Federal Treasurer prior to the 2022 Federal Budget can be found here:

AIMPE AMOU letter to Treasurer.pdf AIMPE AMOU letter to Treasurer.pdf

The submission to the Strategic Fleet Taskforce sent in December 2022 can be found here:

AIMPE AMOU Submission to Strategic Fleet Taskforce.pdf AIMPE AMOU Submission to Strategic Fleet Taskforce.pdf

The main thrust of the submission is as follows:

The size of training effort that AMOU and AIMPE would like to suggest is a national intake of 60 Deck Officer Cadets and 60 Engineer Officer Cadets or Trainees. There are three maritime training institutions which deliver the required (STCW level) Maritime Officer training – the Australian Maritime College (UTas) in Launceston, Hunter TAFE Newcastle and South Metropolitan TAFE Fremantle. Each of these colleges should be able to manage an intake of 20 Deck Officer Cadets and 20 Engineer Officer Cadets or Trainees in the first semester 2023.


The suggested intakes of 60 Deck and 60 Engineer students is based on a calculation of the minimum number of Maritime Officers required for a strategic fleet of 12 commercial cargo ships as follows:


Masters            24                                   Chief Engineers                         24

Chief Officer    24                                   First Engineer                            24

Second Mate   24                                   Second Engineer                       24

Third Mate       24                                   Third Engineer                           24


Total                  96                                                                                         96


So approximately 200 Officers would be required to operate 12 ships. With any training intake there will be a degree of attrition. The particular nature of the sea-going career is such that the attrition rate is higher than many other land-based occupations. An intake of 120 students might eventually see 100 qualified Maritime Officers continue in seagoing employment and possible progress through the ranks over time.


There are many issues that would need to be worked out in a short space of time to enable this proposal to be implemented including:

             Funding/financial support

             Recruitment; and

             Placement on board ships [for sea-time requirements].


Ball-park costings per trainee range between $200,000 and $300,000 depending on the pathway and any pre-existing skill levels. These figures include course costs, travel and accommodation expenses, wages both at college and at sea and examination fees.


If all 120 candidates were fully funded that would be up to $36,000,000 over a three-year period. A copy of correspondence to Treasurer Hon Jim Chalmers of 28th September seeking Budget funding for Maritime Officer training is attached for reference.

Employer groups join maritime training push

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The two major maritime employer groups - MIAL and AREEA - have called on the Minister for Skills and Training to address the  critical shortage of essential maritime skills.

The call came just ahead of the Federal Government's Jobs & Skill Summit in Canberra on 1st & 2nd September 2022. It follows on from the call made by the 3 maritime unions for a new maritime industry training program [see story below].

MIAL & AREEA have indicated that they are very much aligned with the maritime unions in many areas of the training question.

The full text of the employers' letter can be found here:

220829 MIAL AREEA Joint Letter to Minister OConnor.pdf 220829 MIAL AREEA Joint Letter to Minister OConnor.pdf

Maritime Unions call for new Training Program

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The three maritime unions have called on the Minister for Skills and Training to set up a new National Maritime Industry Training program.

The call was made in a letter signed by the leaders of the three unions - AIMPE AMOU & MUA/CFMMEU.

A national maritime industry training program needs to be established as a matter of urgent priority.

Labour supply issues have been identified by the industry survey published by MIAL in 2019 [Seafaring Skill Census]. The demographic profile of the maritime workforce in 2019 signalled a looming crisis as a wave of retirements appears like a tsunami. The situation has only worsened since 2019 – exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The text of the letter can be read here:

National Maritime Industry Training program letter to Minister OConnor.pdf National Maritime Industry Training program letter to Minister OConnor.pdf.

TAFE NSW Marine Engineering Course Schedule for 2020

Hunter_TAFE__Course_Delivery_Schedule_2020__2021.pdf Hunter_TAFE__Course_Delivery_Schedule_2020__2021.pdf (102.19 KB Wed Sep 16 15:44:56 2020)

For any further info, contact Hunter TAFE directly.

266 Maitland Road
T: 02 4923 72225