Seafarers trained at the Mahapola Ports & Maritime Academy (MPMA) of SLPA completed the course
24 Seafarers including 03 women Seafarers trained at the Mahapola Ports & Maritime Academy (MPMA) of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) passed out on Friday 25th February 2022. The event was held with the initiative of Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping, Rohitha Abeygunawardena and Hon.Minister of Youth & Sports, Minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapaksa. This is the first batch of 100 Seafarers being trained under full patronage of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Opportunities are now available for these Seafarers to join service on board commercial vessels as professionals in the industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, said that the Sri Lankan Merchant Shipping sector should move forward with a new vision. “We are now aiming earn a large amount of foreign exchange by providing trained Seafarers to the international shipping industry, a sector that effectively generates employment opportunities,” he said. The Minister said that necessary instructions had been extended to the Merchant Shipping Secretariat and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority in this regard. In Sri Lanka at present, there are about 16,000 trained Seafarers included in the workforce. The industry specializes in creating a skilled youth workforce to replace young people with no or lesser professional skills, and enabling professional youth to conquer the foreign employment market to generate more foreign exchange on the basis of a smaller number of individual involvement. The Minister also said that the aim of the ministry was to increase the number of trained Seafarers up to 50,000 in the next three years.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon.Minister of Youth & Sports, Minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapaksa said that such training would create an environment in which the youth of Sri Lanka would be able to contribute more to the demand in the international labour market by empowering them with professional skills. “The patronage extended by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSS) to train these 100 Seafarers is a significant contribution to the ongoing programme to eradicate youth unemployment,” the Minister emphasized. He also expressed his gratitude to the programme by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping to train 50,000 Seafarers in the coming years. “In the face of the global Pandemic of Covid-19, many achievements can be made by working together rather than individually,” he said.
Members of the ILO, National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSS), Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping – Mr.U.D.C.Jayalal, Director General of Merchant shipping – Mr. Ajith Seneviratne, Managing Director of SLPA – Mr.Upul Jayatissa, Habur Master of SLPA – Capt. Nirmal De Silva, a number of professionals in the merchant shipping industry, management and lecturers of the MPMA of SLPA also joined the occasion.