The International Bunker Industry Association, (IBIA) has joined with South Shields Marine School at South Tyneside College, to develop a course unit on bunkering essentials for merchant navy cadets and engineering officers taking their Class one and Class two certificates of competency.
The course has been developed in close partnership with the college, and explains the fundamentals of the bunker industry, the key regulations affecting shipping today, the challenges and industry developments, all of which will be increasingly important issues for the cadets and engineers once they commence their careers afloat.
Peter Hall, CEO, IBIA comments: “This is a real step forward, and IBIA is delighted to work with the South Shields Marine School to increase the knowledge and support the professional development of young seafarers in this way”.
“We realised some time back that the subject of bunkering and bunkers was absent from the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) training syllabus in the UK as well as many other flag state training bodies, and yet it is a fundamental aspect of any ships’ operations. We contacted several colleges and have developed this trial with South Tyneside College to see how we might address this gap most effectively”.
Nigel Draffin, IBIA Board Member, an ex-chief engineer with many years of engineering and bunkering experience, delivered the first sessions, using specially developed IBIA materials. He reported that the level of student interaction was good, with many questions and requests for further information.
Moving forward, IBIA is looking to split the course for each year group to ensure that it is pitched appropriately for the student’s knowledge and experience. IBIA will then look at rolling it out to other colleges in the UK and then to other maritime colleges around the world. Following the training and in response to expressed interest, IBIA has launched a new category of membership at a reduced cost specifically for students.
IBIA is also developing a broader training programme for shipping companies designed to increase on-board competency in handling bunkering and fuel switching. The programme will be launched in the near future and is just one of a range of initiatives IBIA is working on to promote best practice and increase knowledge across the industry.