The International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) ensures sustainable operations for shipowners by negotiating competitive Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) — With funds derived by the CBA’s, IMEC is able to run a unique 2-1.5-1 timeline of academic studies, on-board experience and wrap-up in school and for licensure.
IMEC hacks a different path from the usual: not vetting for the most educated rating; instead, developing leadership as career credential. The first two years are academic honing. Then a year onboard the ship of sponsoring company and then returning to college for another year to finish the academic requirements.
This year marks the First Decade of its Cadetship Program.
IMEC is the only international employers’ organisation dedicated to maritime industrial relations. Established over sixty years ago, it operates from offices in Hampshire, UK, and Manila in the Philippines and represent over 230 shipping companies with 11,200 vessels of 60 flags, almost 300,000 seafarers of 68 nationalities.
Expectedly, IMEC takes an active role in the training and future employment of seafarers worldwide. It also establishes good training practices in world-class training facilities.
A member has the option to sponsor cadets under the IMEC Enhanced Cadet Scheme.
Adam Lewis, Head of Training & Operations, recalls the pilot class was in 2006 with 25 students. The main cadet program rolled in 2008 with 1,400 graduates now and about 600 under training. The focus is on quality and not in numbers.
Some 470,000 ships officers sail on almost 60,000 ships transporting goods from chemicals and oil to steel, coal and luxury cars.
As ships continued to be built, not enough quality seafarer were produced. In 2006, IMEC commenced an Enhanced Cadetship Programme in the Philippines to answer the need.
IMEC adjusted last year the cadetship to 4 ½ years to be more responsive to career growth and industry requirements.
The Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) delivers the program, training and preparing deck and engine officer cadets.
At around a 95% completion rate, no words need describe the fantastic success.
Added incentive: a sponsoring IMEC member provides training berths during the third year, guaranteeing the cadets time at sea. After qualifying, officers return to their sponsoring companies for full time employment.
The programme is funded through the International Maritime Training Fund (IMTF) for the first two years. Thereafter, though a stipend which cadets earn during on-board training.
Cadets are provided with tuition, teaching materials, uniform, food, accommodation and access to first class training facilities.
Founded in 1998, MAAP is designed to be a world-class maritime academy, equipped with state-of the-art facilities compliant to the requirements of the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers).
Cast for the job.
Adam started with IMEC as Executive Officer for Training & Development, promoted to Manager in 2011 responsible for the management and development of various IMEC training initiatives, including the IMEC Cadet Training Program in the Philippines, the Rating to Officer scheme and English language courses in Russia.
Adam started as a cadet who did as well the 2-1-1 scheme and with a university degree, the rounds of commercial shipping, chartering, ship management.
His own exposure appears designed to his task as like the cadet he was helped “Dan and myself previously entered the industry as cadets, so we understand what our cadets are going through and what their requirements from us are.”
Yet, Adam digs deeper amid the challenge of cultural barrier, 4-1/2 years of wait, challenging educational standard, a host more of mentoring of young people into officers at sea — taking care of lives, ships and cargo on whatever waters, on whatever weather.
Adam observes positive changes. The applicants are better (due the K-12 Program of the government), slightly older, with a more informed decision about a career at sea. They also interview under graduates good at mathematics who “… want to make use of their skills in a much more hands-on career.”
Complete an application form, submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to the IMEC Manila office.
An initial assessment will be given, designed to gauge academic level and ability to achieve the standards of a merchant marine officer.
Those successful will be invited to a two-stage interview. The first, by a rep of one’s chosen college who will be interested in one’s academic achievements. The second, by an IMEC rep to see whether you’re a deck or engine cadet.
Then, medical examinations before acceptance onto the scheme.
(IMEC member company representatives also interview and selects their cadets)
Last November 2017, under-privileged students had a chance for a career with IMEC-AMOSUP AB Engine Program at Don Bosco Youth Center.
The first batch of 40 was given free tuition fees, board and lodging and competency-based education for 10 months, with an additional four-month on-shore, on-the-job-training with one month stay at the MAAP to process documents (passport, seaman book, the like).
The first pilot class had completed college phase and pre-sea training. They are now undergoing their 2 semester at college, will start their OJT in January and are due to graduate in May.
Last July, IMEC signed a second Memorandum of Agreement for an Engine Ratings pilot course.
Don Bosco Youth Center offers Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programs (TVET) under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Commission on Higher Education, at Barrio Magsaysay, Tondo, Manila.
Adam rates Don Bosco: “It’s doing very well, we decided to do a second pilot course… we’re also about to do some upgrades in the campus, we’re about to upgrade the dormitory.”
Funding for the programme comes from the IMTF. The ITF Seafarers Trust has recently given a grant to upgrade the dormitory.
IMEC has been able to assist its’ members in the recent shipping downturn. Its CBA’s have remained competitive and despite many vessels having been laid up, there is increased new build activity. These new ships require well educated and well trained officers, which the IMEC cadet programme aims to produce.
The EMSA Audit “does remain to be a concern of us. We have got a few ideas in the pipeline” if anything adverse to the Philippines is decided.
There are no cadetship program aside from the Philippines. Adam underscores, while “in Eastern Europe we have recently given substantial one-off payments for training facilities. In the Philippines, it’s being a whole sustainable project…continuous berths is quite big thing…”
Fact is, IMEC inaugurated in November 2017 accessible office at Suite 502, Rufino Building V.A. Rufino Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City for monitoring, recruitment, guidance and support to the cadetship program.
The IMEC CBA don’t just focus on wages but also on sustainability. The AMOSUP CBA, for example, receives contribution from every Filipino seafarer employed for the Philippines IMTF. This ensures we are consistently sustainable – the more Filipino seafarers covered under the CBA, the higher the number of contributions to the IMTF and thus the more seafarers new can reach through training initiatives.
IMEC invests in different projects, like a social media video to train, promote marine engineering high school leaders, invested on hardware from Cebu up to Manila.
For IMEC must stay and be sustainable; not just to stay but lead the future in producing world-class merchant mariners.
IMEC FAMILY DAY
Intl Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) held its biggest family day last October 5 at the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) campus in Mariveles, Bataan.
Usually held November, the Family Day was celebrated a month earlier as the IMEC 10th year Cadet Program anniversary celebrations were scheduled Nov 9th at Jen Hotel, Manila.
With IMEC and MAAP officers and staff, cadets and their families were also joined by representatives of sponsoring companies:
- Rodolfo Radam, CMA CGM Group
- Arnold Guia and Capt. Samuel Daguio, V. Ships – Pacific Ocean Manning
- Joanne Medina and Ms. Ligaya Villegas, Marlow Navigation
- Albert Alde, CF Sharp Crew Management
- Nathaniel Dojillo, Anglo-Eastern Ship Management
- Erwin Gringo Laylo, BW Shipping Phils
- Noriel Cereno, Columbia Ship Management
- Antonio Palenzuela, Lydia Mar (Manila)
- Milea Kim Karla Cabuhat and Ms. Ruthy Belle Ambrad, Friendly Maritime Services
- Russel Rey Mirasol and Mr. Koji Yamada, Phil Transworld Shipping
- Hernan Buenaventura and Ms. Francis Faith Dayaday, Heavylift Manila
- Ria Pineda and Ms. Ronielyn Bartolome, Mariana Maritime Academy
The party left at 8a.m. from the Manila Yacht Club by the MAAP ferry.
Fun in games, dance and singing contests enlivened the crowd. Lunch was followed by drink flip cup games participated by cadets, families, MAAP faculty and sponsoring companies.
MAAP President, VAdm, Eduardo Ma. R. Santos AFP (Ret), proudly announced MAAP won various awards in the recent 23rd National Seafarers’ Day celebrations, like:
- All of the 3 MAAP cadets (1st, 2nd and 5th ) Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Phil (TOMSP)
- First and third in the Oratorical contest and champion in the on-the-spot poster making contest.
Santos exhorted, “…what we’re doing here is developing you to become officers… let’s move forward to continuing family unity. We are family, let us all work together…”
IMEC Training Manager Dan Aldrich Tolentino says the “amazing results” proved again that they are still the Number 1 maritime school in the Philippines and probably in Asia.
At videoke time, three officers were musically outstanding: Tolentino, (Maritime QMR) Legal Officer Milea Kim Karla Cabuhat and a MAAP instructor.