© Luigi Angelica

Shortage of personnel on board ships

Trainers contest MIMS on seafarers

by Port News Editorial Staff

Aniformar and Confomar are critical of  the decision by the (Italian) Ministry of Infrastructure & Sustainable Mobility (MIMS) to allow shore staff to be embarked on ferries on domestic routes.

The measure, the result of an agreement between the MIMS, trade associations and unions, in an attempt  to solve the problem of the worrying shortage of personnel available to embark, is a dangerous precedent, according to the two seafarer trainers’ associations.

There is a risk of putting workers on board who haven’t done the obligatory training required by National regulations, EMSA and the International STCW Convention.

In a joint press release, Aniformar and Conformar stated that such mandatory training, for all personnel on board, in any capacity and for any position, involved courses such as Survival and Rescue, Fire Fighting, Passenger Assistance; training which is   essential  so that, should the need arise, workers on board are able to protect themselves and the ship’s passengers.

“Exemption from these on-board safety guarantees, even temporarily, would lead to two conflicting requirements, both of which are absolutely essential: ships being operational and safeguarding safety levels on-board.”

According to both associations, it was too late to deal with the crisis: “with a little advance notice, we could have done better, and, as Maritime Training and Education Centers accredited with the Maritime Authority, we would have been happy to make ourselves available with our expertise and training facilities to meet the needs of the National Maritime Authority, even offering to waiver the suspension of training activities during the two weeks in  August, in order to provide the maximum necessary service.”

Aniformar and Conformar hope that this emergency decision taken by MIMS will be a one-off that cannot be repeated in the future, “because it is in everyone’s interest never to lower the safety levels on our Ships.”

Translation by Giles Foster

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