Seafarers should get a fare chance to upgrade skills through skill training

A day before, today, the first Maritime India Summit, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) opposed employment of foreign sailors aboard the Indian cargo ships.

“NUSI strongly opposed to the move by Indian ship owners to employ foreign seafarers on Indian ships,” said its general secretary Abdulgani Serang here today. The union had communicated its stand to the Ministry of Shipping through a representation to the National Shipping Board, he added. “The priority of the Indian Government should be to boost employment opportunities for Indian maritime workforce. A sizable number of Indian seafarers remain unemployed. Why should we allow foreign seafarers to work on Indian ships?” Serang said. Also, it is important to constantly upgrade the skills of Indian seafarers through training programmes.

NUSI has submitted a proposal for the skill enhancement of the Indian maritime workforce to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE),” Serang added. He further said, NUSI has also asked the government to allocate land for seafarers’ welfare centres across all ports in India so as to provide them a better working environment in accordance with the International Maritime Labour Convention. NUSI has suggested that each port should collect nominal charge from the ships calling at the port for meeting operational expenses of the proposed welfare centres.

NUSI’s active participation in Maritime India Summit in Mumbai is primarily aimed at increasing the global share of Indian seafarers to 9 per cent from 7 per cent currently, he said.