Improving maritime education and training
The fact that roughly 80% of all marine-related accidents are caused by human error underlines the importance of providing seafarers with education and training. Turkey, which lies on the Bosphorus, an international navigation strait with high-density traffic, also suffers from maritime accidents and incidents. These are caused mainly by inadequate technical knowledge on the part of seafarers. However, the education and training of seafarers was hindered by the lack of qualified instructors, the absence of administrative controls of the training process and non-compliance with international standards in education.
The aims of the project and its core activities
The objective of this project was to improve maritime safety in Turkey by enhancing the training, education and certification of seafarers. This was to be achieved through the establishment of a long-term education strategy, the alignment of Turkey’s laws with EU requirements and the creation of a pool of trainers. The Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Higher Education Council oversaw the project, which comprised five activities.
The first was to carry out a thorough assessment of the existing situation in Turkey regarding maritime education and training (MET). This assessment involved evaluating MET personnel, the legal framework, and physical (examination centres, seafarers database etc) and organisational (the functioning of public bodies, examination procedures etc) structures. A five-year strategy was subsequently developed to overcome the shortcomings identified in the above assessment by bringing Turkey into full compliance with EU and international standards.
With the help of experts from a member state, Turkey’s laws were aligned with international rules and conventions (the most important being the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers Convention) and also with EU requirements. In addition, model curricula were drawn up, with a view to implementing them in the 2014–15 academic year.
Another activity involved identifying the training needs in educational institutions, public organisations and other bodies involved in the maritime sector. On the basis of this review, a training programme was developed for new and existing MET instructors, who were certified upon successful completion of the course.