Four Liberian crew members have successfully completed Smit Lamnalco’s new training programme on it tugs. Three of the recruits passed their examinations to become certified able seamen and the fourth is now a qualified motorman.
Currently, three more Liberian recruits are following a similar training path and the company hopes to employ more Liberian nationals in the future. Smit Lamnalco operates four tugs in Liberia, which assist incoming and departing vessels in the ports of Monrovia and Buchannan. Two are under contract for APM Terminals (APMT) and operate in the port of Monrovia and two tugs work for ArcelorMittal in the port of Buchanan. Captain Kish Nambiar, Smit Lamnalco Country Manager Liberia, comments: “It was quite a challenge to embark on this programme initially. Unfortunately, because of the civil war the maritime industry had been decimated. However, with the support of our clients, Smit Lamnalco managed to set up an extensive training programme.”
“Capacity building is APM Terminals priority so we will continue to invest not only in our employees but also our subcontractors. We are extremely proud of these four seafarers and wish them well in their career. The goal is to have a 100% Liberian crew in our Marine Department,” Noah Sheriff, Commercial Manager, APM Terminals Liberia says.
Extensive training programme
Smit Lamnalco worked very closely with the Liberian Registry and Liberian Maritime Authority to develop a suitable training programme and examinations so the new recruits do not have to travel to Ghana for the courses. An extensive training programme aboard Smit Lamnalco’s tugs is combined with theoretical studies at the Liberian Maritime Training Institute and online tutorials. The trainees’ certificates were officially endorsed by the Liberian Registry.
Captain Nambiar adds: “Certainly we believe some of our trainees have the potential to become captains, chief engineers and officers. In 18 months the three latest recruits will become able seamen but they have the capability to go even further.” APMT and ArcelorMittal support this initiative and would like to see it come to fruition.
Commenting on the company’s successful track record in providing local training and development programmes all over the world, Aart van der Wal, Smit Lamnalco Regional Managing Director Africa says: “We ensure development of our people to high skill levels. Our company is fully committed to maximising the local content of our operations. This benefits all stakeholders, as it recognises local networks, culture and society.”
Captain Nambiar concludes: “The obvious challenges of the Ebola outbreak is not deterring Smit Lamnalco from achieving localisation. We are committed to Liberia and are taking all the precautions we can to safeguard our operations and continue our training programmes.”