By Binta Jaiteh
The Association of Gambia Sailors Thursday held a graduation ceremony for 100 members who have completed the Standard Training Certificate and Watch Keeping course.
The aims and objectives of the AGS are to handle matters about the recruitment of stevedores to work as fishing trawlers. This course is regarded as one of the most dangerous courses in the world.
Speaking during the opening held at the University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET) at New Jeshwang, Honorable Bakary Badjie Minister of Youth and Sport said this training will allow them to prepare for the job market.
The Gambia just like other countries has a youthful population the estimated place the country to a little above 2 million people out of which 62 are below 30 years and it is this same category that battles with social challenges saying inadequate educational opportunities lead to a high illegality rate and unemployment.
Alieu Saine the Registrar of the University of Applied Science Engineering and Technology noted that the program was initiated by the Gambia Maritime Administration and the Gambia Ports authority in fulfillment of a consultancy report.
He said safety familiarisation and basic training for all categories of workers board ferries, tugboats, and Fishing Vessels, competency training for deck/engineering officers, and ratings on board ferries and tugboats in light of the above.
He noted that it is a collaboration of GMA and USET that advertised enrollment for a six months Certificate level course which was to serve as the background theoretical knowledge requires for the competency training for deck/ engine officers and rating course.
Unfortunately, he said, Covid-19 impeded the publicity of the program from being run.
However, “USET is very prepared and set to roll out the program in earnest 2023 following the development of the Curriculum. The course became overwhelming as a result of a request from dion Truise Gambia who got Ship boat placement opportunities for Gambians.
According to him, since the start of the Program in the Mid-October 2021, over 1,000 personnel have so far been trained using a two-week duration timetable and an average size of 25 students. Nearly all the personnel trained came through Cruise Ship Limited. Due to persistent patronage of the program, the Association of Gambian Sailors had the privilege to benefit from the training of some of its members in the last cohort/ Batch that completed the program on the 8th of April 2022.
Anna Mbenga Cham, Director of Fisheries on behalf of the Fishery Ministry appreciated USET for incorporating sailors training modules in their circular curriculum and for also offering tutorial services to enable the graduating of 100 students.
He noted that being certified will enable them to work at National and International levels and is a demand by the International Convention as mentioned on the standard of training.
Abdou Sanyang, the Secretary General of the Gambia Association of Sailors also said that this course is an extension of several hands-on-trainings and we have been conducting it for our members as part of our mandate to prepare members for what many experts called the most dangerous job in the world.