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Maritime Industry - Commission of Inquiry - Reports - Training requirements for sea-going personnel, May 1974

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1974— Parliamentary Paper No. 70


Report by


Presented by Command 11 July 1974 Ordered to be printed 1 August 1974


© Commonwealth of Australia 1974

Printed at The Griffin Press, Netley, South Australia.

Your Excellency, I have the honour to present my first Report in accordance with Letters Patent dated 25 September 1973. This Report is dealing with training and education in the maritime industry.

Μ. M. SUMMERS Commissioner 6 May 1974

His Excellency, The Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.St.J., Governor-General,

Government House, Canberra.

This Report is set out in two Parts. Part I deals with principles, broad proposals and conclusions. Part II is an analysis in some detail.





Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . I

Major issues to be dealt with . . . . . . . . . 1

Present training of officers and men of trading vessels . . . . 2

Deficiencies noted in present training . . . . . . . 3

Maritime training in the fishing industry . . . \ . . . 5

Basic needs for future approaches to the training and education of members of crews of vessels in the maritime industry . . . . . . 6

General assessment of present training, and proposals for change . . 7 Numbers for training . . . . . . . . . . 9

Sufficiency or insufficiency of present Government methods of certification . 10 College method proposed to improve training and education . . . 1 1

Nature of training and education . . . . . . . . 1 2

Arrangements for students . . . . . . . . . 14

Effects on Certificates of Competency . . . . . · . 1 5

Location and management of College . . . . . . . 1 5

Development of courses given by the College . . . . . . 1 5

Guidance of training at other colleges . . . . · · . 1 5

Funding 16

Findings and conclusions . . . · · · · · . 1 6

Contents of Part II are shown at the beginning of that Part, on page 21 to page 26. A list of those who provided information to the Commission is shown on pages 122-123.

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Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Maritime Industry on 'The training requirements of the industry, including the establishment of an Australian

Merchant Marine College’ (Item 6 in Terms of Reference)


This report is the first to be made by the Commission. It is a report on a subject that has been given a lot of attention in recent years by all associated with the maritime industry.

2 To get the inquiry underway this Commission has taken the view that the term, The Australian Maritime Industry’, refers to all Australian activities involved in the operation of ships interstate and internationally. There will be some references in this report to shipping intra-state where there is a logical flow-on of principles in respect of training.

3 This report deals only with the training of sea-going personnel within the industry. It is a report on a major aspect of one of the terms of reference; training of ships officers and men and the question of establishing a Merchant Marine College in Australia. This is a matter on which urgent action is needed. Other aspects of Item 6 in the Commission’s terms of reference will be dealt with in a later report.

4 This report is set out in two parts. Part I sets out the principles and broad proposals and the conclusions arising from the whole inquiry into this aspect of the Commission’s terms of reference. Part II deals with training for the operation of ships in some detail.

5 Conclusions reached are summarised at the end of Part I.


6 The major issues to be dealt with in this report are identified as:

whether all those who work on Australian commercial ships are trained to a high enough standard using the present system

whether the present methods of training will be adequate for the future

whether the present method of certifying crews’ competency is suitable now and for the future whether there is a need for more technical training and a higher level of education

whether an Australian Merchant Marine College should be established to provide a complete and extended education for seafarers.

7 The analysis of the problems in this subject relies heavily on the differences in the tasks carried out on board ships. I realise that this distinction is fully understood by


those with experience in the maritime industry. Nevertheless, I think that the following description of ship departments will be of value to some readers.

8 First there is the Master, or Captain, who is responsible to the shipowner, operator, or charterer for the safe and efficient operation of the ship, for the safe carriage of the cargo and for the safety of everyone on board. He is also personally responsible, in a legal sense, for compliance with national and international maritime laws and con­ ventions.

9 Then there is the deck department under the control of the First Mate, or Chief Officer, who is second-in-charge of the ship and assumes command in the absence of the Master. The deck department is concerned with the operation and navigation of the ship, the day to day maintenance of the ship’s structure and the general safety appliances, the stowage of cargo and the stability of the ship. The First Mate is assisted by Second and Third Mates, Cadets, sometimes a Shipwright, and a number of deck ratings under the immediate control of a Boatswain. The deck ratings comprise able seamen, ordinary seamen and deck boys.

10 Another group, which keeps the ship moving and looks after the machinery, is the engine-room department which is under the control of the Chief Engineer. He is assisted by a number of engineers (on the larger ships also by an electrician) and a number of engine-room ratings. The number of engine-room staff varies with the size and type of ship and engines. A large modern ship, for example, may carry as many as seven engineers and an electrician. The categories of engine-room rating vary with the type of propulsion machinery. They include: donkeyman, pumpman, greaser, oil- burner, boiler attendant, motorman and wiper. Not all of these ratings would be found on one vessel.

11 The catering department is under the control of the Chief Steward who is responsible for the general catering and the victualling of the ship. He is assisted by a number of stewards or assistant stewards who also perform the tasks of cleaning the officers’ accommodation and serving their meals. The cooking is the responsibility of the ship’s cook, assisted generally by an assistant cook. In addition there are crew attendants who perform for the crew tasks somewhat similar to the tasks of stewards for officers.

12 On the majority of ships a single Radio Officer is carried. He is responsible for the radio communications between the ship and the coast stations and for the maintenance of the radio equipment while the ship is at sea. Unlike the other members of the crew he is generally employed by A.W.A. rather than by the shipowner. Nevertheless, he is responsible to the Master for the radio communication work.

13 Now, to look at these issues (set out in paragraph 6) dispassionately requires the setting up of as good a set of facts as could be obtained to illuminate the issues in the subject. The statistics in the maritime industry are not always on a most up-to-date basis; nevertheless, as much as possible has been done to obtain facts.


14 Up to the present, the training for each of the members of ships’ crews has been non-existent or else piecemeal. For example, applicants for officer, and existing deck


officers, have a special task in advancing their positions—to learn enough not only to improve their knowledge by working on ships but to pass an examination set by the Department of Transport and obtain a Certificate of Competency.

15 There are Departmental examination centres at all the capital cities, Newcastle and Darwin. (The nature of these examinations is set out in Section 1 of Part II.) To obtain the necessary knowledge to pass the Department’s examinations, an examinee may rely on his own activities or attend courses at Sydney, Melbourne or Newcastle.

16 To all those who pass the examination, the Department grants a Certificate of Competency. These Certificates are the only evidence that any deck officer or engineer has to testify proficiency, other than his experience on the job.

17 Yet these Certificates are mainly concerned with matters of safety. The examina­ tions were set up in an attempt to ensure that an officer will handle a ship in such a manner that he will be acting in a way that is consistent with a knowledge of what he needs to do to sail safely and that he is aware of the laws and regulations setting out the safety requirements. The examinations have little to do with the commercial requirements of the owners of ships and the meaning of those requirements to an officer on a modern ship. The examinations are not always up to date in their references to operational requirements on board. Nor do they thoroughly test an applicant’s practical operation of modern equipment, such as radar, or of hyperbolic navigation

systems such as Decca and Loran.

18 To obtain a deck officer’s, marine engineer’s or radio officer’s Certificate of Competency there is no limit to the number of times that an applicant can take the examination. It is, apparently, common enough for applicants to sit 3 or 4 times. Candidates are even known to have sat for the examination 10 or 12 times.

19 For Certificates of Competency for deck officers, however, passing the examina­ tion is not the only qualification. Another qualification is 3 years’ sea service for a Second Mate’s Certificate, another year for the First Mate’s Certificate, and for the Master’s Certificate a further 2 \ years service at sea. For marine engineers a period of

approved workshop service is required before they obtain their certificates, and 21 months sea service for the Second Class Certificate with a further 21 months sea service for a First Class Certificate. Radio officers require no sea service before they obtain a Certificate of Competency.

20 It is an important point to register that whilst there are some training courses available for the certificates, attendance at a formal training course is not compulsory.


21 At no point in the course of this inquiry have representatives of shipowners complained about the standard of knowledge of their present officers or men. Never­ theless, it is agreed on all sides (and I believe that includes shipowners) that the present standard of training is imperfect. To some, training courses are merely deficient

because they are shore courses and it is up to shipowners to provide the real standard at sea. To others the deficiencies are such that Australia’s shipping industry uould be regarded as insecure as compared to that of other countries. To others again, it is a question of whether the standard is high enough compared with the task that is to be

performed in some ships now and in other ships in the future.


22 I am convinced, after taking note of all the comments that have been made, that it is fair to say that present training is not going far enough within the type of courses that are provided, is not giving a full range of types of courses, nor does it equip those who take the courses with a standard of education that has a general application. Moreover, it is very doubtful that the present standard will continue to attract the type of men whose knowledge allows them to adjust without great effort to changes in types of shipping and cargo handling that are developing.

23 My own assessment is that it is inappropriate for either the men or the owners to try to continue with the present standard or the present method of maritime training and education.

24 The standard of training for deck officers is not high enough, nor does it go far enough. For engineer training there is not enough attention to recent developments in the operation and control of new types of marine engines. Moreover, I agree with those who take the view that all of the crew should have more and better training than they get at present.

25 There are a number of points that have been made in conversations with the Commission and in submissions received by the Commission, as indications of the inadequacy of the present training and examination system. These items are listed below, and are dealt with in more detail in Section 3.2 of Part II of the report:

There is not enough co-ordination between the various bodies which handle the education, training and examinations. The training of seafarers should be rationalised and directed by a central board or council which is representative of all the interested parties (

Seafarers and shipowners get only marginal benefits from the general education and training systems in Australia. The industry training need receives little attention at the colleges and any examinations that are held are not the responsi­ bility of the college (

There is no introductory training even in safety measures for the majority of Australian seafarers (

The present pattern of apprenticeship for deck officers, with its almost complete reliance on learning by experience, is outdated in most industries and professions. It is surprising that most shipowners still rely on this method of training for their ship officers (

Due to changing school leaving patterns and the greater tendency for boys having ability to finish school and then attend colleges for higher levels of education, it is unwise that this industry should rely on trade apprenticeships as the main source of recruitment of marine engineers (

Radio officer training—which is presently carried out in a private school—needs to be related more to modern maritime communication requirements and main­ tenance on board modern ships; and should be incorporated within the education system (

There are no training courses for ratings, other than a short pre-sea course for deck boys and engine room juniors and no marine courses of any kind for cooks


and other catering personnel. There are no examinations or certificates for deck and engine room ratings, cooks or stewards (

The present teaching and training facilities are directed mainly to coaching candidates for the Australian Government Certificate of Competency examinations. The examinations that are set by the Australian Government Department are

principally interested in safety at sea, and not ship efficiency and economic operation (3.2.2 and

There is an almost total lack of up-to-date equipment for safety and operational training ( and

Both the schools and the Department of Transport have great difficulty in recruit­ ing and retraining staff to provide for both the training and examination in this particular matter (3 .2 .2 .6 and

The present examinations—and consequently the preparatory courses—for masters, mates and engineers, appear to involve a great deal of repetitions of subject matter (

The Australian Certificate of Competency standards have fallen behind those of other countries with which we have previously maintained parity. A new approach is needed to provide a system which is more appropriate to Australian conditions and requirements and in addition will bring Australia up to international standards (

There is a great need for more provision for updating, refresher, and retraining work (

There is a need to insist on training courses for commercial fishermen and for operators of small craft around Australia. This is in part an intra-state area; but many of the ships operate in international waters ( and Section 4 of Part II).


26 Up to the present, I have been dealing with that part of the maritime industry operating the trading vessels. That part of commercial fishing which operates outside of State jurisdiction must be taken as forming a part of the maritime industry into which I am inquiring.

27 Up to the present, there has been little maritime training for fishermen. I am told that only the Fremantle Technical College provides an annual pre-sea course for commercial fishermen and only one company provides an in-house cadet scheme to train its own men.

28 Several criticisms have been made above of the present training and method of examination for the certification of deck and engineer officers operating trading vessels. Their training, deficient though it may be, is more than those operating ships in the fishing industry receive. Nor are there any national Certificates of Competency issued to commercial fishermen. Although three States issue certificates for fishermen,

1 am told that a high standard is not required.

29 One of the great problems in the fishing industry is the increase in size and


sophistication of ships now being used. It is no longer the practice in Australia of going out only in small boats to catch fish. I understand that although the majority of the boats are still under 30 feet in length, increases are occurring rapidly in the numbers of vessels over 85 feet in length. Boats now go out into distant waters using complicated new methods of fishing, and sophisticated gear. There are also some large fishing ships operating from Australia. As at 30 June 1973 there were 20 Australian fishing vessels at sea of 200 tons and over. Another 49 fishing vessels over 200 tons are under construction. The Department of Primary Industry estimates that by 1976 near to 100 such large Australian fishing vessels will be operating.

30 There is certainly a case for more organised formal training in this part of the maritime industry.


31 Shipping transport as an industry must be one of the oldest in the world. The history of civilisation thousands of years ago refers to ships carrying passengers and cargo and the payment being made for that transport. Pre-history sailing commercially would probably go back even earlier. Existing records contain information on some interesting and some brutal methods of obtaining seamen, and of handling them at work on board ship.

32 For many years the efficient operation of ships of various types depended on all those on board acquiring knowledge of that particular type of ship. The effectiveness of their activities relied on the way they were trained and disciplined on board.

33 In looking at the standard of training the changes to Australian shipping must be remembered. Some small size shipping remains, most of it intra-state between coastal towns and cities. A great development in bulk carriers, oil tankers, roll-on roll-off' and container ships has vitalised the demands and needs of Australian industries for cargo shipping. There are special needs for the growing use of Australian ships in international trade. In addition, the Government’s policy of increasing overseas

shipping will result in more seafarers who must know how to navigate in foreign waters and work in foreign ports.

34 So, one of the big questions is, ‘What are the possibilities of handling shipping in the future with people trained in the present way? Can we expect to be able to find good crews to handle ships that cost millions of dollars ?’ A nother important question, ‘There are insufficient, trained Australians to crew ships today. Can we ignore Australian training deficiencies and expect to get hold of about 50% of our officers overseas, as we do today?’ ‘Are the ratings given enough training?’ It will be plain that my answer to these questions is negative.

(a) Deck Officers 35 To look first at deck officers. In general it could be said that modern officers require more education in mathematics, science, theory of navigation, ship stability and industrial, legal and commercial knowledge. They need a great deal of knowledge of practical ship handling, cargo handling, (particularly hazardous and noxious cargoes) and more practical training in the use of mechanical and electronic aids to


the operation of a modern ship. (This is referred to in more detail in Part II of this report.)

36 As previously discussed the present courses are deficient in those areas. (b) Radio Officers 37 At present radio officers take a two-year full time course at the A.W.A. school in Sydney. This is the only training school in Australia for marine radio officers.

38 There are some weaknesses in the current system of radio officer training, particularly in relation to the maintenance of their modern electronic equipment. Irrespective of deficiencies in this type of training, we are already facing great pressure from A.W.A. to set up another type of training somewhere else as they are incurring

financial disabilities in training all radio officers. A case has been put by some but is not widely supported, that, with the developments in radio communication, radio officers could be trained to handle more of the electronic equipment outside engine rooms on board ships as well as being more highly trained to carry out maintenance

of communication equipment than they are at present.

(c) Marine Engineers 39 In some of the information received it is argued that marine engineers receive the best type of marine training that are given at present. Others even maintained that no changes were needed. Nevertheless, it is plain that there is not enough engineering train­ ing in theoretical work which would help them to keep up to date as aspects of ship operating change. In addition there is a good case for giving engineers more practical knowledge of maritime activities in the course of their training rather than their having to pick up a lot of that knowledge at work. Also, although there is some engineering equipment at training establishments there is a lack of up-to-date marine equipment.

40 The Institute of Marine and Power Engineers maintains that the subject matter in which marine engineers are trained at present has too great an emphasis on mechanical engineering and should be updated to include electrical and pneumatic engineering.

(d) Deck and engine-room ratings 41 There is at present very little training for deck and engine-room ratings although there is a rather short pre-sea course available at Newcastle. Moreover, that course deals only with boys entering the maritime industry for the first time. It is impossible to obtain any on-shore training for adult ratings.

(e) Catering staff 42 There are courses suitable for cooks and stewards available at various schools, but marine cooks and stewards do not usually attend them. Nor is there any maritime training provided for cooks or stewards.

(f) Fishing vessel crews 43 Training is essential and should be started.

GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF PRESENT TRAINING, AND PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE: 44 On pages 3 to 6 it is stated that the present system of training and education for men on board ships is lacking in some activities and deficient in some other areas and

that neither the unions nor the owners should try to continue with the present system.


45 As stated in the analysis of the deficiencies on page 4, the present training gives some help to officers to operate their ships and to navigate them. It is also possible to obtain engineers who can look after the working equipment on board.

46 But it cannot be said that the present training gives basic education to officers on board; it gives no understanding of the costs and benefits of transport and perhaps even most important of all, it does not give a full training for officers—deck or engine —who take on the task of operating very valuable equipment in often difficult circum­ stances around the coast and overseas. Nor is there any training that is of such value that people who select sea transport as their activity can make great contributions to the whole development of the Australian economy. Owners think highly of the men they recruit now. It must nevertheless enhance the attractions of a maritime career for young men—and thus the calibre of potential recruits offering—if the level of training they obtain is lifted so as to be on a par with that of other highly thought-of occupations.

47 Further, the whole question of communication requires an ability to understand present and future types of communication equipment and a responsible under­ standing of the need for ships at sea to maintain contact throughout the voyage.

48 Ratings, whether in engine rooms or on deck are treated as labourers who handle lines, man wheels, clean engines and so forth. Nevertheless, some again are men involved in handling very valuable equipment and who are expected to comprehend, and help to achieve, the best and most efficient, as well as the safest, operation of ships.

49 Many of those who were critical of the present methods and levels of training would agree with a list of deficiences like that set out on pages 4 to 5. They also talked about the nature of improvements needed in the present standard of training and methods of training.

50 I summarise those needs as:

(1) a higher level of training in some areas (2) a greater theoretical education, not only to achieve a good understanding of ships, their activities and their purpose, but also to help in the supervision and operation of ships (3) more practical training of all on board ship (4) more training in navigation and navigation aids (5) better understanding should be given of ship construction and stability, and

the stresses to which ships are subject (6) more practical training in safety, such as boats, life rafts, fire fighting, accident prevention, damage control (7) important that training should have a broader approach but it is also important

that it be motivated more towards shipping needs than much of it is today. For example, engineers’ training should be more oriented towards equipment on board ships (8) special practical training in the importance of ship and equipment handling, e.g., manoeuvering, anchoring and berthing, handling of various types of cargo, not only general cargo but also dangerous cargoes, and in relation to specialist ships such as container, roll-on roll-off, vehicle deck ships, tankers and bulk ships

(9) an understanding of the commercial aspects of ship operation, in particular to inculcate elements of cost awareness and cost importance (10) understanding of means of tackling personnel management and also of industrial procedures and practices.

51 It is, however, impossible to see how to achieve such improvements and deal with all the deficiencies set out on page 4 onwards unless changes in education and training are made. For example, heavy expenditure would be involved if improvements needed to the equipment in all the present training establishments were made. For instance, none of the colleges have a ship, none a radar simulator, there is not much ship engine room equipment at the colleges, very little training for ratings, nor courses for cooks and catering personnel. It appears to many that radio officer training needs change. There is little training and no national system of certificates of maritime competency for the men in the fishing industry.

52 Those are some of the directions in which training should be changed. They all make a case for better training and, what is also important, more education of people who go to sea to handle the operation of ships.

NUMBERS FOR TRAINING 53 It appears that one of the reasons why the present colleges have not expanded their limited training is the small number of students at each college.

54 Tables 3 and 4 in Part II of this report give an indication of the numbers of candi­ dates for Certificates as Foreign-going Masters, Mates and First and Second Class Engineers who have passed through the full courses at the colleges at Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle.

55 The total number of masters and mates taking these courses during 1973 was 83 and for engineers 203. However, there are a number of courses run each year at the colleges, and when this is taken into account there would be an average of only about 11 student places required for each masters’ and mates’ course and 18 for each engineer­ ing course. I have been told by one college that the staff student ratio is one teacher to five students, which seems to be very low.

56 For radio officers, who are all trained at the A.W.A. school at Sydney, I have been told that the number of trainees fluctuates, but in recent years some 20-25 enrol for training each year. The numbers who pass the P.M.G. examinations for Certificates of

Proficiency in radio telegraphy each year are given in Table 1 of Part II. It appears from this that less than half of the students who enrol at the training college enter the maritime industry, with some going to other industries.

57 In addition to the numbers studying for the present masters, mates and engineers and radio officers certificates there are about 12 places provided annually tor deck cadets and about 20 places for engineer cadets.

58 If all these requirements were put together they would provide reasonable numbers of students for one college but it must be recognised that they are at present spread over five separate colleges in three cities. .

59 If the new courses which I propose in this report are adopted, then the requirement of student places would be higher than it is at present. Even so, would the numbers e


high enough to warrant the maintenance of more than one college for these higher grades of masters, mates, engineers, and radio officers ?

60 An estimate of the training task is contained in Part II of the report. This indicates an annual requirement as follows:

deck officers approx. 30 entrants need a high level course and 15 a

lower level

engineer officers about 12 entrants need a high level course and 50 a lower level

radio officers about 15 entrants

61 Taking into account the different lengths of the courses and also some ancillary courses which are referred to in Part II, these estimates add up to a total requirement for about 300 student places.

62 Although the numbers at each of the present colleges are small, it would seem that total numbers of this order might justify the establishment of a national college as a viable alternative which would provide for the training of all masters, mates, engineers and radio officers for interstate and overseas commercial ships and for the larger, more sophisticated fishing vessels.

63 For other members of the crews of these ships there is little in the way of training at present, other than a short pre-sea course for deck boys and engine-room juniors at Newcastle. The numbers attending this course over recent years are shown in Table 5 of Part II. Even this training, however, is not fully utilised.

64 Only 11 deck boys went through the course in 1973, although an additional 31 deck boys entered the industry during the year apparently without having received training.

65 Part II contains an estimate of the annual numbers of entrants in the following grades for the immediate future. In summary these are:

deck ratings 45

engine-room ratings 15 cooks 10

stewards 10

66 It is not recommended that the training for these grades should be provided only in the central college. It is recommended that it should also be provided in other colleges in the States together with that for the large numbers of persons involved in the handling

of intra-state ships, inshore fishing vessels, tugs, dredges and various small craft—both commercial and pleasure.


67 I turn now to look at the present means of officers’ obtaining certification. The present system of certifying applies only to officers. It is achieved by Examining Officers in the Australian Department of Transport setting oral and written examinations frequently in the course of the year at most capital cities and Newcastle, which trained and untrained people must pass before they obtain Certificates of Competency.


68 There is one great deficiency in these examinations. The officers in the Department of Transport who set the examinations are all ex-maritime officers, all with a high standard of education in that area but their main task is to make sure that the examinee has a good basis in matters that will help him to operate ships safely. It is not their task to see whether he will operate efficiently or that he will help to move the ship in a way that keeps the cost at the lowest possible level. The Department’s main concern and the purpose of the examinations is to ensure that ships operate more safely. Many of the examiners are, however, dissatisfied with the limiting nature of the examinations that they are required to set and the lack of comprehension by the industry of the limited purpose that the examinations have.

69 A candidate who passes examinations receives a Certificate of Competency. It does not mean, however, that he is the best man to have to operate a ship in a particular case. It means that he is fully aware of many aspects which are important to the safety of the ship.

70 That is the only certificate that an officer on board ship is required to have under Australian Government legislation. Clearly a broader training should be given, both to ensure that the officer operates his ship efficiently, most economically and of course, still of great importance, most safely. Another point is to have studies in handling of crew. For example, in these days it is a matter of great interest to all on board that the living conditions are comfortable. That needs to be recognised as an important matter in keeping crew working well by all who become officers aboard Australian ships.

71 In fishing, there are not even Certificates of Competency required throughout the country, although as mentioned previously there are some State certificates issued to commercial fishermen. At present, however, there is no real requirement for any standard of operation, a deficiency that may be the reason for the high accident rate in fishing vessels.

72 After analysis of all the information, I reach the the conclusion that there is a need at this stage in Australia’s development of its maritime industry for the Australian Government to take the initiative at this time of great changes in the industry to provide assistance, technical as well as financial, to improve the standard of education

and qualifications of all going to sea.

COLLEGE METHOD PROPOSED TO IMPROVE TRAINING AND EDUCATION 73 Having reached that conclusion it is not easy to reach another conclusion on how the Australian Government could best act. It was impossible, for example, to get uniform views from all those who gave evidence on how needed improvements should

be achieved. For example, several shipowners believe that the best way to achieve this would be to provide improvements and finance to colleges at present providing training. Several unions on the other hand would prefer to see a special college set up

to take over all training in future. 74 The Commission cannot accept either of these approaches. First of all there would be a very high cost in arranging for all of the present training colleges to be re­ equipped to provide the standard envisaged for all officers. Secondly, it is hard to see

how each of these colleges could be equipped and staffed at a sufficient standard


although each of the colleges would have a relatively small number of students at officer standard. On the other side it could be a very large and expensive task to get all mariners to attend one college.

75 I believe strongly, however, that after so many years of Australia’s fiddling with training for the maritime industry it is time for the Australian Government to take the stand that it wants a much better and much more effective system and provide funds for improving training and education. However, the cost of spreading the improve­ ments around the States leads to the conclusion that it does not warrant more than one college.

76 In reaching that conclusion, I recommend that the Australian Government should set up an ‘Australian Maritime Industry College’. The College should be set up as part of an existing College of Advanced Education. At this college there will be courses for all officer levels for commercial shipping—deck, engine room and radio officers.

77 However, on the training of masters and crews for small ships in localised operations and for in-shore fishing vessels, suitable courses should be given in other institutions elsewhere and similarly for ratings for Australian interstate and overseas ships. Some nautical training for cooks, stewards, and shipwrights should also be available at these colleges.

78 Of course, in the State where it is established, the Maritime College could handle all these types of training. It does not mean however, that all training should only be done at the College.

79 It is envisaged that the college would guide and co-ordinate the setting up of arrangements in each of the States for the training of officers for small intra-state ships (if needed) and inshore fishing vessels as well as for deck and engine room ratings; and some nautical training for cooks, stewards and shipwrights.

NATURE OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION 80 In discussions with both unions and shipowners it was found that there was support for the first year of the cadetship for deck officers to be at sea. The next three years should be at college with college classes operating between March and October.

Students would be at sea for some time between November and March, with a vacation also provided during this period.

81 Of course, training at the maritime college will require not merely black boards and teachers but also a great deal of equipment. It would be important that simulator rooms be set up in radar, Decca and other navigation aids. In overseas colleges ship simulators are employed and it would be desirable to get such equipment before long. For engineers a great deal of engine room equipment and examples of modern style equipment should be provided. This could be supplemented by arrangements for visits and voyages on some ships.

82 The college would also require other nautical equipment, not only boats, but also it is suggested it would be desirable if the college had a training ship. This ship could be in the order of 1 to 2 thousand gross tons. It is possible that such a ship may be obtained fairly cheaply because ships of an appropriate size are often being sold after some years of operation. Of course, a lot of modifications might be required to suit college needs.


83 It would also be desirable to plan for the building and equipment to be set up in a place associated with the rest of the Advanced College buildings, although obviously near the sea. It would be important in setting up the college that its students are in close association with others and that their various types of activity at the college are not isolated but can be integrated with other activities.

84 The courses envisaged as being given by the college for deck and engineer officers would be as set out in the following paragraphs.

85 Cadets attending the marine college should be required to have completed a full secondary education.

86 For deck officers there would be courses at three levels. Class A will have three academic years at college. Before those years a year would be spent gaining sea experience. The next year would be spent gaining philosophical understanding of mathematics, physics and chemistry. This could be obtained at various colleges in the

States or at the Advanced College to which the nautical college is attached. The courses would however have to be approved by the maritime college. The third year and fourth year would be spent at the college. The subjects to be covered in these years are set out in Part II. At the end of that period cadets should get a dipoma from the college and after a period at sea would get a watchkeeper’s certificate and from then on they could be appointed as officers on any ship. Their advancement to the higher levels would depend mostly on efficiency and time spent at sea, perhaps with refresher and updating courses.

87 Class B would spend less time at college (and that would be worked out by the college) and would take those students who wished to be officers on vessels of up to perhaps about 3,000 tons. The course would be similar to Class A but would not have so much depth. It could have specifics in it such as training in operations of oil supply vessels, large fishing vessels etc. The specific training would be handled during the courses but it is expected that the basic training would be the same for all trainees.

88 Class C would be a course for small vessels up to about 200 tons, and this course could be offered in the colleges in the States. It could be done in such a way as to cover two levels of master and also for small boats, a coxswain certificate. Commercial vessels that go outside harbours and possibly private vessels also, should be required

to take some part of a Class C course depending on the size of the craft and the area of operation.

89 Similar three class arrangements should be set out for engineering courses. Class B however, might also be able to receive some of their training at other schools, as alternatives to the main college, provided the standard at those other schools is

satisfactory. 90 Class C could also go to other colleges. As mentioned on page 12 other colleges could also provide the nautical training for deck and engine-room ratings and stewards

as well as the familiarisation courses for shipwrights and cooks.

91 As mentioned elsewhere, radio officers should be required to do their whole nautical course at the nautical college. ,

92 These proposals are shown in illustrative form behind page 17.

93 It must be recognised that there are several types of training which it is envisaged


would be carried out in specialised courses at other colleges, such as catering colleges, in the States. It will also have been noted that operators of small harbour vessels and fishing vessels could be trained at courses set up at colleges other than the main maritime college. It would be also appropriate that people who operate pleasure boats or any other smaller boats outside harbours were required to have a special certificate. The training to obtain those certificates could be obtained at those establishments that would be providing training for Class C deck and engine-room ratings. The major requirements apart from some navigation understanding for certifying operators on those ships could be that they understand:

means of ensuring that their ship remains stable

means of communication

how to handle dangerous cargo

the necessity to operate in accordance with safety requirements.

94 It is suggested that one of the best ways to set up these courses would be to require the proposed courses to be approved by the major nautical college. Of course I stress that this would depend very much on collaboration from the States.

95 Another matter is that the division of courses for officers into three grades, itself, introduces a problem. It will be important that every vessel is certified as not to be operated by a lower class of officers than would be specified, to avoid any tendency within the industry to either seek higher grades or lower grades than are appropriate. Basically this should not be difficult after the present fleet is classified. I will concede, however, that in some circumstances it does get rather more difficult to decide a basis on which to settle on the level. For instance, if a standard of 3,000 gross tons were taken as the level at which Class A officers were required, then the Australian Govern­ ment’s Navigation Aid vessels under 3,000 tons would operate with Class B officers. That might seem to be too low a level for a vessel with the task those important vessels perform, and that it required Class A deck officers. On that basis it might be decided that the level of grade of officers should not be based on gross tonnage.

96 In short, small vessels are often doing very difficult tasks and travel into a lot of difficult areas. It would seem that under the circumstances the Department would set up a system by which it would assist the Minister to decide the type of certificates required for every new ship operating in Australian waters. This may require consider­ able effort when first introduced, however, some vessels such as fishing vessels could be dealt with in large numbers. Some other ships would logically fit into Class A. The greatest difficulty might be in the 500 to 2,000 gross ton vessels. After introduction it should not be a great task to maintain standards as vessels are constructed or change their tasks.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR STUDENTS 97 Because the college will draw its students from all over the country and also from those already serving at sea, residential accommodation should be provided.

98 Subject to a means test the student would qualify for a living allowance, an incidentals allowance and a travel allowance under the Government’s tertiary allow­ ances scheme.


99 Whether shipowners wish to make payments to students seems to me to depend on the attitude which each shipowner takes. If a shipowner wants to select his own men before they begin training, then I would think that owner would make some form of payment to those men. 1 would certainly hope that owners would develop scholar­ ship schemes for students at the college.


100 The structure of Certificates of Competency issued by the Department of Transport would have to be re-arranged to fit in with the new grades of training provided by the college. The Department has proposals for such a re-arrangement. These proposals should be brought in, in conjunction with the new training courses.

101 When the college is well established and the Departments of Transport and P.M.G. are satisfied with safety aspects of its courses, I would think that these Departments would accept passes from the colleges as evidence of competency, and not examine the men themselves.

102 There would, of course, be a bridging period of some years for men already going through the present certificate sequence.


103 The college should obviously be near the sea, and close to a major centre of population with shipping and fishing operations.

104 There should be a small advisory committee to assist the principal of the college. That committee should include representatives of shipowners, seafarers’ organisations, the fishing industry, and the Government Departments issuing Certificates of Competency.


105 Later, the college could provide further courses of various kinds. These could include the following:

higher level courses in place of those required for the Extra Master and Extra

First Class Engineer Certificates

updating, refresher and specialist courses bridging courses lor ratings with the ability to go on to officer levels

a course leading to a qualification for senior ratings other related special purpose courses, such as for marine superintendent or marine surveyors.


106 As mentioned earlier there should be arrangements whereby the college guides and co-ordinates the syllabuses and teaching offered by other colleges providing training for maritime courses.



107 I have discussed with the Commission on Advanced Education the question of how the college could be funded.

108 As the proposed maritime college would form part of the tertiary education system in Australia it would be funded in the normal way like any other college of advanced education, i.e., the Australian Government would provide the capital and recurrent funds required for its operation.


This report has examined many aspects of training for work on Australian ships. I should set down, in summary form, the main findings and conclusions.

I find that:

There are many gaps and limitations in the training available to Australian seafarers in trading ships

some receive virtually no formal maritime training (cooks, stewards, ship­ wrights and most deck and engine-room ratings) some receive training which does not cover enough subjects, and does not go deeply enough into the subjects it does cover (deck officers, engineers, radio officers).

Facilities and equipment for training are inadequate.

For fishing boat masters and crew, there is no training at all available, beyond a course in W.A., and one company’s in-house scheme.

The objective of present training is out of date, because it is aimed only at meeting the official safety-oriented competency certificates.

Some of the problems could be dealt with by upgrading existing training institu­ tions and their equipment but the numbers of men to be trained do not really justify expenditures on more than one set of facilities and equipment

and there are so many improvements needed that a completely fresh start would be better.

I conclude, therefore, that

There should be a Central Maritime College, set up as part of a College of Advanced Education, and financed under the Australian Government’s policy of free tertiary education.

This college should offer courses for deck, engineer and radio officers, and masters of large fishing vessels the courses for deck and engineer officers should both be at two levels: a three college-year course, and a two college-year course. The course for radio

officers should extend over two college-years the first (theoretical) year of the three-year courses could also be offered at advanced colleges elsewhere if they choose to offer the appropriate courses


the entrance requirement to the three-year courses for deck and engineer officers would be the completion of a full secondary education, but for deck officers there should be a first year of sea experience before attending college.

The college should also guide and co-ordinate courses offered by technical colleges elsewhere

for deck and engine-room ratings, and for maritime, or familiarisation, aspects of other grades such as cooks, stewards and shipwrights

for masters of small fishing boats

for small boat and pleasure craft operators

and should itself offer the maritime courses for the State in which it is located.

All entrants to the industry should, ho wever

undertake a familiarisation voyage before beginning any training

and take a short safety induction course before taking up employment on board ship.

The central maritime college should

be advised by a committee including shipowners, seafarers’ organisations and the Departments responsible for marine crews’ competency

be near the sea and a principal city

be well provided with equipment (including simulators) for deck, engine room and radio communication training

operate a small training ship as part of its facilities

provide for residential accommodation, preferably within its own campus.

When the college is well established

the Department of Transport should phase out its own examinations for competency certificates and accept college passes in their stead

the college should develop further courses, e.g.,

a bridging course for deck and engine-room ratings able and willing to advance to the higher studies for deck officer or marine engineer levels

for higher qualifications to replace the present Extra Master and Extra First Class Engineer Certificates

for related occupations (marine superintendent, marine surveyor and so on).



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Section 1. Existing training facilities and the Certificates of Competency

1.1 Relationship between training and the Certificates of Competency . . 29

1.2 The Certificates of Competency . . . . . . . 30

1.2.1 Nature of commitment . . . . . . . . 30

1.2.2 Mandatory requirements . . . . . . . 30

1.2.3 Operation of the examinations . . . . . . 30

1.2.4 The Certificate grades . . . . . . . . 31

1.2.5 Requirements for entry to the examinations . . . . 32

1.2.6 Numbers involved . . . . . . . . . 32

1.2.7 Certificates of Service . . . . . . . . 35

1.2.8 Costs of operating the examinations . . . . . 35

1.3 Existing training facilities . . . . ■ · · 35

1.3.1 Masters and Mates . . . . . . . . 35 Recruitment and entry . . . . . . 35

1 .3 .1 .2 Formal training . . . . . . . 36

1 .3.1.3 Informal or ‘in-service’ training . . . . . 36

1 .3 .1 .4 The Navigation Schools . . . . . . 37

1.3.2 Marine Engineers, Electricians and Shipwrights . . . . 38 Recruitment and entry . . . . . . 38

1 .3 .2 .2 Formal training . . . . . . . 39 Ίη -service’ training . . . . . . . 39

1 .3.2.4 Marine Engineering Schools . . . . . 39 Electricians . . . . . . . . 40

1 .3.2.6 S h i p w r i g h t s ................................................................... 40

1.3.3 Radio Officers . . . . . . . . . 40 Recruitment and entry . . . . . . 40

1.3 .3 .2 Formal training . . . . . . . 41

1.3.4 Seamen . . . . . . . . . . 41 Qualification and rating of seamen . . . . 41

1 .3.4.2 Recruitment . . . . . . . . 42 Pre-sea training . . . . . . . 42


1.3.5 Cooks and Stewards . . . . . . . . 42 Cooks . . . . . . . . . 42 Stewards ..............................................................................43

Section 2. Manpower requirements

2.1 Manpower in the Australian shipping industry . . . . . 47

2.1.1 The Australian trading fleet . . . . . . . 47

2 .1 .2 Sea-going employment in the industry . . . . . 51

2.1.3 Relationship between numbers of ships, berths available and personnel required . . . . . . . . 5 4

2.2 Recruitment of labour .................................................................... . 5 4

2.2.1 Annual recruitment requirements . . . . . . 61

2.2.2 Sources of recruitment . . . . . . . . 62

2.2.3 Wastage of labour .......................................................... . 65

2.3 The training task . . . . . . . . . . 68

2.3.1 Numbers for training . . . . . . . . 68

2 .3 .2 Summary ................................................................................................68

Section 3. Deficiencies in the present system of training and examinations

3.1 General attitudes ....................................................................................... 73

3.1.1 The statutory examination syllabuses are outdated . . . 73

3.1.2 The present Certificate and Training System needs to be com­ pletely restructured . . . . . . . . 7 5

3.2 Particular deficiencies . ....................................................................76

3.2.1 Control and planning ....................................................................76 A need for better manpower planning . . . . 76

3 .2 .1 .2 Too many bodies involved in the control of marine education and training . . . . . . 77 Seafarers, and shipowners, do not benefit from the national provision of education to the extent that most other professions and industries do . . . . 7 8

3.2.2 Education and Training . . . . . . . . 78 A need for a short induction course for all seafarers . 78 3 .2 .2 .2 The present deck apprenticeship pattern is outdated . 79 Continued reliance on trade apprenticeship as a source of recruitment for Marine Engineers may be unwise . 79 3 .2 .2 .4 Radio Officer training is inadequate . . . . 80 There is no systematic training for seamen, cooks, and catering personnel . . . . . . . 80

3.2 .2 .6 Present teaching and training facilities are inadequate . 81 3.2 .2 .7 A need for updating, refresher and retraining courses . 82 A need for a national body to foster and co-ordinate training programmes for operators of small craft around

the coast 85



3 2.3 Examinations and Qualifications . . . . . . 86 The examinations—and consequently the preparatory courses—do not provide adequately for operational and safety training . . . . . . . . 86

3 .2.3.2 The present system of certificate examinations is wasteful in terms of efforts and resources . . . . 86 The Certificate of Competency structure needs to be more appropriate to Australian conditions and requirements . 91

Section 4. A lack of training and qualifications for the fishing industry

4.1 Why training for fishermen? . . . . . . . . 99

4.1.1 Present position . . . . . . . . . 99

4.1.2 Manning requirements for modern fishing vessels . . . 1 0 1

4.1.3 Industry support for training . . . . . . . 1 0 2

4.2 What sort of training? . . . . . . . . 102

Section 5. The training requirement

5.1 Type of training required . . . . . · · . 1 0 7

5.1.1 General objectives . . . . . . . . . 107

5.1.2 Interstate and overseas shipping . . . . · . 1 0 7 Selection and induction . . . . · . 1 0 8

5 .1 .2 .2 Ratings and Senior Ratings . . . . . 108

5 .1.2.3 Masters and Mates . . . . - · . 1 1 0

5 .1 .2 .4 Marine Engineers . . . . . . . 113

5 .1 .2 .5 Electricians . . . · · ■ · . 1 1 4

5 .1 .2 .6 Shipwrights . . . · · · - . 1 1 5

5 .1 .2 .7 Radio O ffic e rs...........................................................................115

5.1.3 Intra-state shipping and pleasure c r a f t ............................................. 116

5.2 A Maritime Training Institute . . . · · · · . 1 1 8

5.2.1 Type of e s ta b lis h m e n t.......................................................................... 118

5.2.2 S i z e ........................................................................................................119

5.2.3 Practical training facilities . . · · · · . 1 2 1

p a g e



Table no.

1 Annual numbers of successful candidates for Certificates of Com­ petency 1963-73 ..............................................................................

2 Certificates of Service granted, 1965-73 . . . . .

3 Number of individual candidates (Masters, Mates) taking the written examinations at Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, 1973 . . 4 Students following Marine Engineer Certificate courses at Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle during 1973 . . . . .

5 Ratings’ pre-sea courses, number of trainees 1967-1973 . . . 6 The Australian trading fleet 1957-1973 . . . . .

7 Non-trading and small trading vessels 1957-1973 . . . .

8 Tonnage groupings of Australian ships 1954-1973 . . . .

9 Age groupings of Australian ships 1954-1973 . . . .

10 Type groupings of Australian ships 1954-1973 . . . .

11 Numbers of seafarers on articles of agreement at 30 June each year, 1957-1973 .......................................................................................

12 Numbers of seafarers who signed articles of agreement at least once each year 1957-1973 . . . . . . . . .

13 Relationship between ship numbers, berths available, and numbers employed . . . . . . . . . . .

14 Entrants and sources of entrants—deck and engineer officers, 1965-1975 .......................................................................................

15 Entrants, level of entry and source of entrants—deck and engine-room ratings, 1968-1973; stewards and cooks, 1972-1973 . . 16 Years of service—deck and engineer officer entrants, 1965-1973 . 17 Years of service—deck and engine-room ratings entrants, 1968-1973;

steward and cook entrants, 1972 and 1973 . . . . .

18 Performance at the written examinations, Masters and Mates (F.G.) at Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, 1973 . . . . .

19 Analysis of number of attempts by successful candidates at the written examinations, Masters and Mates (F.G.) 1970/71 and 1971/72 20 Proposed new certificates for Masters, Mates and Engineers— Application by ship size and operating area . . . . .

21 Fishing vessel total losses, sample survey: 1950-1972 . . . 22 Reports of fishing vessel casualties, 1973 . . . . .


33 35


40 42 49

50 50 50 51





64 66




94 99 100


p a g e Table no.

23 Size classification of boats engaged in general fisheries, States and Northern Territory at 30.6.72 . . . . . . . 101

24 Australian Government fishing boat licences issued during 1973 . 101 25 Australian fishing vessels of 200 tons gross and over . . . 101

Note: The following symbols have been used throughout the tables: . not applicable " .. not available

- nil or negligible



Chart page

1 The Australian trading fleet, 1957-73: number of ships and tonnage . 48 2 Masters—persons employed and berths available, 1957-73 . . 57 3 Mates and Engineers—persons employed and berths available, 1957-73 ..................................................................................... 58

4 Deck and Engine-room Ratings—persons employed and berths available, 1957-73 59

5 Catering Ratings—persons employed and berths available, 1957-73 . 60




Existing training facilities

and the Certificates of Competency



With the exception of a short pre-sea course for deck and engine-room boys at Newcastle, and a recently developed course at Fremantle for entrants to the fishing industry, facilities for marine training in Australia are limited almost entirely to preparing candidates for the certificate of competency examinations required by the Navigation Act.1 The system of training has grown up out of the past and is still shaped by the historical origins of the competency certificate system.

Over the years, Australia, in common with other older members of the Common­ wealth, has operated a system of marine competency certificates which is closely based on the United Kingdom system. Compulsory examinations for masters and mates were first introduced in Britain in 1851 through the provisions of the Mercantile Marine Act of 1850. This was part of a general move to tighten up the regulation of

British shipping, and was brought about by public concern at the very heavy loss of life at sea during the first half of the nineteenth century. In 1862, certificates of competency for first and second class engineers were introduced. Similar systems were gradually introduced in the separate Australian States in the years following their introduction in the U.K. Since 1923,1 2 the Australian Government has operated the certificates of competency examinations for seafarers in overseas and interstate

operations—the State Governments retaining operation and control of the examina­ tions and certificates for intra-state vessels.

When the compulsory certificates were introduced there was no complementary provision in the Acts for training, and preparation for the certificate examinations was provided by retired mariners, private schools or schools set up by organisations such as Trinity House. There was, of course, no provision for State education—even

at primary level—at this time, either in Britain or Australia; and State involvement in technical education effectively started only in the early years of the present century.

With the development of technical colleges, the nautical schools in the United Kingdom were mostly incorporated into the technical colleges which were being established by the education authorities from about 1902. However, these schools continued to limit their activities largely to the certificate requirements, and it was not until the

1950s (for marine engineers) and early 1960s (for deck cadets) that courses were developed which led to nationally-recognised educational qualifications for marine engineers and deck officers respectively.

In Australia, the preparatory courses for marine engineering certificates were in­ corporated into the technical colleges during the 1930s. Candidates for the masters and mates certificates were prepared by private schools up to 1954; and radio operators are still prepared for their certificate examinations by a privately operated school. In

each case, the courses are directed towards the statutory certificate requirements (as in the earlier British schools) and they, thereby, remain largely apart from the technical education system of the country and, thus, also from the education and training facilities available to other professions and other industries.

1 Navigation Act, 1912-1973, Section 2, 14-15, 231 A, B & F, and Schedule I. ' 2 The provisions of the 1912 Act were not implemented until 1923, having been delayed by a number of causes including the First World War.


It is necessary, therefore, to outline the certificate and examination requirements before describing the present training facilities.

In this Section the present system of certificates and examinations, together with the associated training arrangements, are described. Only that part of the industry to which the Navigation Act applies is dealt with. That is, broadly speaking, ships engaged in the interstate and overseas trades.

Fishing vessels are exempted from the requirement to carry certificated personnel by an Order in Council of 12 January, 1962, made under Section 423 of the Navigation Act. The State Marine administrations regulate intra-state shipping, fishing vessels, and pleasure craft. But only three of the States—South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia—have been requiring commercial fishermen to hold certificates of competency, and the examination requirements are rudimentary.

The question of training for commercial fishermen is dealt with in Section 4.


As indicated in the introduction to this Section, the certificates of competency and the way in which the examinations are operated have, up to the present time, followed closely on the United Kingdon system. By various Acts and Orders in Council, provision exists for reciprocal recognition of equivalent grades of ‘foreign-going’ certificates between a number of the older Commonwealth countries. Under this arrangement, certificates acceptable to the United Kingdom are automatically valid in Australia.

1.2.1 Nature of commitment:

The Australian Government has the responsibility for ensuring that commercial vessels engaged in overseas and interstate operations are adequately manned with a sufficiency of properly qualified personnel to ensure safe operation. The regulating authority is the Department of Transport—the Minister for Transport having the power to set manning scales and issue certificates of competency.

1.2.2 Mandatory requirements:

The Navigation Act1 requires that the master and a specified number of mates, engineers and radio officers on each trading vessel, must hold certificates of com­ petency. There is no requirement for other crew members to be certificated.

1.2.3 Operation of the examinations:

The certificate examinations for masters, mates and engineers are conducted by technical officers of the Department of Transport, and those for radio officers by technical officers of the Postmaster-General’s Department.

The Department of Transport has examination centres at Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Fremantle, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney. Up to last year, examina­ tions for most grades of certificates were held monthly (except for a month over the Christmas vacation period). During 1974, however, the Department of Transport is

1 Navigation Act, 1912-1973, Sections 2, 14-15, 231 A, B & F, and Schedule 1.


proposing to reduce the frequency of the examinations in order to encourage candi­ dates to undergo more thorough training and preparation for the examinations. The setting and marking of most of the written papers is carried out at the Department’s central office. Surveyors at the ports conduct the oral examination and are responsible for the general supervision of the written examinations. All the officers engaged on examination work are required to hold the ‘extra master’ or ‘extra first class engineer’ certificate, or have an appropriate degree in nautical science or mechanical engineering in addition to their ‘master’ or ‘first class engineer’ certificates respectively.

1.2.4 The Certificate grades:

(applicable to ships engaged in the interstate and overseas trades) For Masters and Mates, the following certificates of competency are issued:

Master of a Foreign-Going Ship First Mate of a Foreign-Going Ship Second Mate of a Foreign-Going Ship Master of a Limited Coast-Trade Ship

First Mate of a Limited Coast-Trade Ship Second Mate of a Limited Coast-Trade Ship

For Marine Engineers, the following certificates of competency are issued: First Class Engineer \ with steam, motor or combined steam Second Class Engineer ^ and motor endorsements First Class Coast Engineer Second Class Coast Engineer Third Class Coast Engineer

Note: The Department of Transport also provides examinations for a qualification as Compass Adjuster and for the Extra Master and Extra First Class Engineer certificates. These latter qualifications are not required for shipboard work but are intended for higher technical posts ashore in the industry, particularly in such areas

as examining, teaching and surveying.

For Radio Officers the following certificates of proficiency are issued:

Radiocommunication Operator General Certificate First Class Commercial Operator Second Class Commercial Operator Restricted Radiotelephony Operator Note: The ‘Radiocommunication Operators General Certificate of Proficiency was

introduced in December 1972. It follows the lines of a similar qualification which was introduced in the U.K. in 1970 to replace the first and second class commercial operator certificates. The Restricted Radiotelephony Operator Certificate (or Third Class Commercial

Operator Certificate) is applicable to operators on ships having a main radiotelephony installation. That is, ships of less than 750 tons in general, and ships of less than 1 ,6 0 0 tons which are not engaged on an international voyage.

The Postmaster-General’s Department is proposing to introduce a new qualification— the Radiotelephone Operators’ General Certificate of Proficiency—which is a higher


level ‘telephony’ qualification than the Restricted Radiotelephony Operator Certificate referred to above.

1.2.5 Requirements for entry to the examinations:

Any British subject, provided he possesses the necessary qualifications, may be admitted to any of the Department’s examinations and, if successful, obtain an Australian certificate of competency. Partial passes obtained in other Commonwealth countries with equivalent systems are accepted in Australia.

Under Section 18A of the Navigation Act, other nationals are subject to restrictions, particularly at the senior grades of certificates, and are not permitted to qualify for certificates as master or first mate of a foreign-going ship or first class engineer. They can, however, under certain circumstances, take the relevant examination and thereby gain ‘Permits to Serve’ at these levels. These Permits may be revoked by the Minister at any time.

The qualifications or prerequisites for entry to the examinations, and the syllabuses to which the examinations are set are prescribed in the following Regulations:

For Masters and Mates—in the Navigation (Examination of Masters and Mates) Regulations1 For Engineers—in the Navigation (Examination of Engineers) Regulations1 2 For Radio Officers—in the Wireless Telegraphy Regulations and the P.M.G.’s Department booklet R.B. 124: ‘Conditions under which First and Second Class Commercial and Broadcast Operators’ Certificates of Proficiency in Wireless Telegraphy may be Obtained’.

The sea service requirements (and also in the case of marine engineers, the workshop requirements) for masters, mates and engineers are not readily summarised, but for the foreign-going certificates, very broadly speaking, they are as follows :

For Masters and Mates—3 years sea service to qualify for a Second Mate certificate, an additional year for the First Mate certificate and a further 2 \ years for the ‘Master’ certificate. For Marine Engineers—a period of approved workshop service and 21 months sea service for the ‘second class’ certificate, with (normally) a further 21 months sea service for the ‘first class’ certificate. For Radio Officers—there is no requirement for sea service to qualify for the certificates.

An outstanding point about the certificate requirements is that—apart from a require­ ment to attend a three-week radar observer course for the ‘second mate’ certificate- attendance at formal training courses is not compulsory.

1.2.6 Numbers involved:

The following table gives an indication of the scale of the numbers of candidates going through the examination system:

1 Comprising Statutory Rules 1964 No. 34 as amended by Statutory Rules 1967 No. 64, 1968 No. 30, 1969 Nos. I l l , 145 and 211, and 1972 No. 30. 2 Comprising Statutory Rules 1926 No. 177, 1941 No. 128, 1964 No. 33, 1965 No. 109, 1968 No. 29, 1969 No. 92 and 1972 No. 155.


TABLE 1 ANNUAL NUMBERS OF SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES FOR CERTIFICATES OF COMPETENCY 1963-73 (Numbers of individual candidates who attempted the examinations are given in brackets) M A S T E R S A N D M A T E S : (a) F oreign-going C ertificates


{to 30 June) 1963-64 1964-65 1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69

Extra Master 1 1 - -

(-) (-) (1) (2) (1) (-)

Master (F.G.) 24 36 24 28 23 36

(34) (47) (33) (35) (38) (49)

First Mate (F.G.) 23 31 36 38 41 30

(36) (39) (53) (52) (51) (47)

Second Mate (F.G.) 17 29 22 27 27 39

(27) (40)

(6) C oastal C ertificates

(37) (42) (41) (60)

Master (L.C.T.) 3 1 1 2 1 2

(4) (1) (1) (3) (1) (4)

First Mate (L.C.T.) - - - 1 1 -

(1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (3)

Second Mate (L.C.T.) - - - 2 2 2


E N G IN E E R S : (a) Foreign-going C ertificates

(-) (2) (2) (3) (3)

Extra First Class - - - - - -

(1) (1) (1) (-) (-) (2)

First Class (Steam) 17 10 15 18 19 17

(·.) ( ..) (27) (28) (29) (23)

First Class (Motor) 14 19 20 20 28 14

(■■) ( ..) (31) (29) (33) (20)

Second Class (Steam) 28 29 25 17 27 15

(··) (.·) (42) (30) (34) (··)

Second Class (Motor) 19 20 24 38 29 41

(.·) (··) (68) (63) (43) (··)

1969-70 1970-71


(-) (2)

35 36

(68) (52)

43 45

(67) (67)

31 24

(53) (36)

2 5

(5) (7)

1 3

(2) (3)

- 2

(2) (4)


(1) (2)

7 3

(7) (9)

23 11

(34) (26)

25 22

(39) (39)

41 40

(62) (67)

1971-72 1972-73

_ _

(1) (-)

41 39

(66) (58)

46 37

(57) (45)

29 29

(41) (50)

1 5

(3) (6)

2 4

(4) (8)

1 -

(3) (1)

(-) (-)

12 11

(18) (12)

23 21

(39) (33)

30 20

(44) (26)

50 51

(62) (66)

Source: Department of Transport

TABLE 1—Continued

(b) C oastal C ertificates


(to 30 June) 1963-64 1964-65 1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-t

First Class Coast 4 4 2 4 5 6

(5) (5) (2) (10) (6) (6)

Second Class Coast - - 2

(-) (1) (-) (-) (-) (2)

Third Class Coast 1 - - 1

(1) (-) (-) (1) (-) (-)



( 6) 1 ( 1)



11 ( 12) 2 (2)


1971-72 1972-73

19 13

(21) (16)

(1) (-)


(1) (-)

Source: Department of Transport

R A D I O O F F IC E R S : A n n u a l n u m bers o f su ccessfu l candidates f o r C ertificates o f P roficiency, 1967-73 N o te : In this case, the figures in brackets represent ‘attempts’ rather than ‘individual candidates’, the figures for which are not available. The examination is in two parts: viz., theory and practice (i.e., telegraphy). Both parts comprise a number of sections, all of which must be passed within a period of 12 months. The number of passes in the ‘telegraphy’ part gives an indication of the total numbers who passed the full examination each year.

Y ear 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70

First Class Commercial Operator Theory 15 13 8

(109) (78) (68)

Telegraphy- 5 9 4

(37) (28) (17)

Second Class Commercial Operator Theory 10 1 7

(26) (8) (22)

Telegraphy 5 1 1

(17) (6) (2)

Radiocommunication Operators’ Theory General Certificate Telegraphy (') ( ’) ( ’ ■)

(■) (") ( ')



(67) 2 (21) 5 (24)



( ' )

( ’)



(56) 7

(15) 1

(19) 1 ( 1)

( ’)




(38) 4 (14) 1 ( 10)


(5) 1

( 11) 2 (6)

Source: Postmaster-General's Department

1.2.7 Certificates of Service:

It has been a traditional practice to allow naval officers with the appropriate service and training to qualify for senior positions on board merchant-ships without having to take the certificate of competency examinations.

Section 18B of the Navigation Act provides that the Minister for Transport may grant certificates of service without examination—to officers ‘in the Commonwealth Naval Forces’ who have certain qualifications and experience, as follows:

Certificate of Service as Master of a foreign-going ship, to officers who have

attained the rank of lieutenant as a seaman specialist; and

served seven years sea service, three of which must be whilst in possession of a full watchkeepers certificate.

Certificate of Service as a First-Class Engineer, to officers who have

attained the rank of lieutenant, as an engineer specialist; and

served 21 months’ qualifying sea service after attaining the rank of sub­ lieutenant.

Certificate of Service as a Second-Class Engineer, to officers who have

attained the rank of sub-lieutenant, as an engineer specialist;

served 21 months’ qualifying sea service; and

served four years’ workshop service including 9 months’ heavy fitting work.

The following table shows the number of certificates granted since 1965.



{to 30 June) 1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72 1972-73

M aster o f a fo re ig n -g o in g s h ip 3 2 6 7 11 15 13 14

F irst C lass E n g in e e r 2 1 1 1 1 7 3 6

Second C lass E n g in e e r 1 - 1 — 1

Source: Department of Transport

1.2.8 Costs of operating the examinations:

The annual cost, to the Government, of operating the examination system is of the order of $120,000 for masters, mates and engineers and $2,500 for radio officers. Receipts from fees amount to some $8,500 for masters and engineers and $300 for radio officers.


1.3.1 Masters and Mates Recruitment and entry: Although any seaman who has served four years at sea in the deck department is eligible to take the tests and examinations leading to a second mate certificate, in recent years almost all candidates for the certificate have

served as deck cadets, or apprentices indentured to shipping companies, rather than


as deck ratings. In the three years to 30 June 1973, for example, out of the 82 successful candidates for the ‘second mate’ certificates only 4 were ex-ratings.

The Australian National Line recruit their deck cadets by selection following annual advertisement in the national press. The National Line state that they have no difficulty in attracting suitable applicants: the ratio of applications to available positions being of the order 10 to 1. The other four companies who employ deck cadets apparently fill their vacancies satisfactorily from casual enquiries.

The level of entry is completion of full secondary education: many of the entrants having good matriculation level qualifications.

1 .3.1.2 Formal training: Over the past ten years the numbers of deck cadets recruited annually by Australian companies, and overseas owned companies operating out of Australia, have varied between 47 and 25 (the higher figure occurring in 1966 and the lower in 1973).

Out of these figures some 10 to 12 out of each year’s intake represent Australian National Line’s cadets. These boys receive formal training in the form of a three- month pre-sea course and a six-month ‘release’ course after approximately twenty months’ service at sea. The courses are run by Sydney Technical College Navigation Department and the syllabuses are strongly influenced by the certificate of com­ petency requirements for mates and masters.

Apart from one or two other cadets who attend the six-month ‘release’ course and an arrangement by The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited for their cadets to attend Newcastle Technical College on an ‘ad hoc’ basis when time in port allows, there is no further provision. Thus, well over half o f the deck cadets recruited each year receive no systematic formal training during the cadetship period.

Upon completion of the cadetship, the deck officer aspirants take the examination for a second mate certificate and—following appropriate periods of sea service—for the first mate and master certificates.

Whilst there is no requirement for candidates for the certificates of competency to attend training courses, they invariably find it necessary to do so. The preparatory courses offered by the three navigation schools are referred to in para. and, under the provisions of an industrial award, officers attending these courses qualify for paid study leave of 6 weeks for a ‘first mate’ certificate and 10 weeks for a ‘master’ certificate. These study leave provisions are presently being re-negotiated. Informal or ‘in-service’ training: During the cadetship, the trainees should follow a systematic programme involving tasks and duties to instil a knowledge of basic seamanship and learn the duties of a deck officer. Each cadet is issued with a Record Book which sets out the training tasks and provides for appropriate endorse­ ment upon completion of such tasks.

This ‘in-service’ training is supplemented by correspondence courses or, in some cases, by assignment work; and cadets who have completed these programmes are eligible to take the ‘second mate’ examination after three years’ sea service.

From this three years, an allowance of up to one year can be deducted for attendance at formal training courses, and for good school leaving qualifications (e.g. in N.S.W.:


r SeS? ΐ ’Τ 51 fl,VC)rCCOgn'Sed subjects of the Higher School Certificate examination three of which including either mathematics or science must be at level two or higher"!

1.3.1 4 The Navigation Schools: At the present time there are small navigation epar ments, or schools, in each of the following technical colleges: Sydney Technical o ege, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; and Newcastle Technical College purses and student numbers: The main function of these schools is the preparation o candidates for the foreign-going certificates of competency. For this purpose courses extending over some 16 or 17 weeks are offered for candidates preparing for the certificate examinations. Whilst candidates are encouraged to enrol at the begin­ ning of courses, and take the full course, they do not all do so because there is no requirement to attend these in order to qualify for certificates of competency ' Another factor is the frequency of the Department of Transport examinations: monthly for each grade of certificate. From 1974, however, the number of full examinations will be reduced from eleven to seven per year for each grade in order to discourage candidates from attempting the examinations before they are adequately prepared. Tuition for the coastal certificate examinations is generally provided on an ‘ad hoc’ basis, because of the small numbers involved (see Table 1). Because the students come and go at various times, statistics based on such factors as student enrolments etc. do not always reflect a real picture of the actual numbers involved.

However, the following table shows the numbers of individual candidates attempting either of the two parts of the written examinations, during 1973, at Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. Whilst not all the candidates necessarily attend the navigation course at the same centre at which they take the examination, the figures provide a reasonably good indication of the small scale of the through-put at each of the three places where certificate preparatory courses are provided. The numbers of examinations held at other ports are minimal and invariably represent ‘resits’.


No. of individual candidates

No. of individual candidates taking a written part taking a written part for the first time

S Y D N E Y : M a ste r (F .G .) 22 16

F irst M a te ( F .G .) 21 15

S econd M a te ( F .G .) 28 16

M E L B O U R N E : M a ste r ( F .G .) 13 9

F irs t M a te (F .G .) 9 8

S eco n d M a te ( F .G .) 16 11

N E W C A S T L E : M a ste r ( F .G .) 3 1

F irs t M a te (F .G .) 5 4

S eco n d M a te ( F .G .) 5 3

Source: Department of Transport

1 T h e o n ly re q u ir e m e n t f o r a tte n d a n c e a t tr a in in g co u rses is th e c o m p u lso ry three-w eek r a d a r

observer c o u rse a t th e ‘s e c o n d m a te ’ certificate.


The table also shows the numbers of individual candidates taking a written examina­ tion, at each grade, for the first time. These figures provide a fair indication of the numbers of students following a fu ll course at each of the three navigation schools.

Staffing: The three navigation schools employ teachers who are engaged exclusively on teaching nautical subjects. Other college departments service the requirements for general subjects such as mathematics and science. Staff numbers engaged full-time on nautical subjects are as follows:

At Sydney Technical College: A head teacher and five teachers;

At Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology: A head teacher and four teachers;

At Newcastle Technical College: One teacher who teaches all grades of masters and mates in addition to having responsibility for the pre-sea course for deck boys and engine- room juniors.1

1.3.2 Marine Engineers, Electricians and Shipwrights Recruitment and entry: There are two general sources from which the industry obtains its marine engineers: (a) Trade based; and (b) Cadetship.

Note: Because of the present requirement for workshop experience, there is no avenue by which ratings can progress to marine engineer positions.

It is necessary also to sub-divide category (a) into two sub-groups:

(i) Those who complete a normal four-year apprenticeship in a suitable engineering workshop and (mostly) attend a 12 or 16 week course for part A of the second class certificate (2A) at Newcastle, Sydney or Melbourne.1 2 Until 1971/72 the ten-year average number of entrants, i.e. passed 2A, was about 90 per year. The trend since that time has been for a considerable slackening of recruitment from this source: due to better service conditions leading to an oversupply of marine engineers and con­ sequent withdrawal by ship operators of sponsorship to the courses. For 1973/74, it seems likely that this source will yield about 35 new entrants.

(ii) Those who complete an apprenticeship in a workshop with a definite marine engineering bias and who also attend courses, sometimes by day-release, leading to a technical qualification for which exemptions from the 2A examinations are granted. Current rate of entry by this method approximates 15 per year, comprising 10 per year who obtain a N.S.W. Marine Technology certificate, and 5 per year from a range of technician-type courses in various States.

Type (b) entrants are at present, confined to Australian National Line (ANL) cadets. This involves a four-year scheme requiring two academic years leading to a Victorian Higher Technician Certificate (Marine), together with two years’ industry experience

1 See p a ra . 1 . 3 . 4 . 2 f o r a d e sc rip tio n o f th e p re -sea co u rses fo r ratin g s. 2 See p a ra . 1 . 3 .2 . 4 . T h e first a n d se co n d class en g in eer c ertificate e x am in atio n s a re each divided into tw o p a r ts : A a n d B ; P a r t A c o n ta in s th e th eo re tic a l w o rk , a n d can be ta k e n befo re g o in g to sea;

P a r t B co v ers th e m o re p ra c tic a l o r ‘a p p lie d ’ w ork.


(1 year ashore and 1 year at sea). The first group (5 cadets) completed in December 1973. Intake since that group has been 6/year, increasing to 10/year in 1974. Formal training: As in the case of the deck officers, there is no require­ ment for attendance at courses leading to examination for certificates of competency. Again, however, candidates invariably find it necessary to attend the preparatory courses offered by the marine engineering schools. There is an industrial award provision for paid study leave of 10 weeks for a second class certificate, 10 weeks for a first class certificate, and 6 weeks for endorsement of a first class certificate. Effectively, these provisions lead to some formal training for all entrants at some stage of their career.

A small number1 of serving marine engineers attend courses in Automatic Control at Sydney Technical College and Marine Electronics at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology on a voluntary basis, partly under sponsorship.

in general, however, systematic formal training for marine engineers is limited to the cadet-engineer (i.e. category (b)) entrant: at present comprising about one-sixth of the total entry. ‘In-service' training: Τη-service’ or informal training is effectively limited to ‘learning through experience’ during the periods of-statutory sea service. It is regulated only to the extent of specifying length, quality and type of service. Marine Engineering Schools: The major schools actively engaged in marine engineering are located at Newcastle and Sydney Technical Colleges and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In addition, the ANL cadet scheme is based at Footscray Institute of Technology, Melbourne.

Courses and student numbers: The courses offered—for the various categories of entrant—were referred to in para. together with the numbers of entrants to the industry. The following table shows the numbers of individual candidates attempt­ ing both parts of the first and second class engineer examinations at the Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle examination centres. Not all of the candidates would have attended preparatory courses in the respective colleges: some would be resitting the examination after failure in previous years. The student enrolment figures shown in the lower part of the table were supplied to the Department of Transport by the colleges. These figures provide a clearer indication of the numbers of students follow­ ing the full courses at the respective colleges.

The figures in Table 4 are largely representative of those engineers who have come from the apprenticeship source referred to in para. (a) (i): as distinct from the ‘marine technology certificate’ entrants and the ANL cadet engineers who gain exemptions from the theoretical parts of the examinations. The reduction in the

numbers of entrants from the traditional apprenticeship source was referred to in para. (a) (i); and this can be seen in Table 4 where the total number for Part A of the ‘second class’ certificate, during 1973, was only 33.

As in the case of masters and mates the Department of Transport will be reducing the examination frequency during 1974 to discourage candidates from attempting the

1 See p a ra. 3 . 2 . 2 . 7 fo r s tu d e n t n u m b e rs a n d c o u rse len g th s.



No. of individual candidates for the exantinations No. of students enrolled at the colleges

S Y D N E Y : S e c o n d C lass C e rt. P a r t A 15 ' 8

P a r t B 38 26

F ir s t C lass C e rt. P a r t A 10 8

P a r t B 46 33

M E L B O U R N E : S e c o n d C lass C e rt. P a r t A 5

P a r t B 22 14

F ir s t C lass C e rt. P a r t A 11 10

P a r t B 14 13

N E W C A S T L E : S eco n d C lass C e rt. P a r t A 13 13

P a r t B 42 33

F irs t C lass C e rt. P a r t A 20 21

P a r t B 27 24

Source: Department of Transport

examinations before they are ready to do so. The number of full examinations is being reduced from 11 to 5 per year, and it is hoped that this will lead to more effective training being undertaken.

Staffing: The marine engineering schools employ full-time teachers who have served at sea and hold marine-engineering qualifications. Other departments within the college provide teachers for other subjects, such as mathematics.

Staff members engaged full-time on nautical subjects are as follows:

At Sydney Technical College: A head teacher and 4 teachers

At Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology: A head teacher and 4 teachers At Newcastle Technical College: A head teacher and 3 teachers Electricians: Certain ships in the interstate and overseas trades carry an electrician.

The general register of seamen, maintained by the Department of Transport, indicates that at 30 June 1973 there were 74 berths for electricians and there were some 150 electricians available to fill these berths on a full-time basis.

The electrician is similar to the engineer in that he is recruited from a trade-based background—in this case an electrical fitter. But, unlike the marine engineer, he does not have certificates of competency available to him. Shipwrights: The shipwright is also in a similar category insofar as he is recruited only after having served his time in the trade—before going to sea. There is no specialist marine training available at present for shipwrights, and no certificate or marine qualification. At 30 June 1973 there were some 226 shipwrights available to fill the 78 berths on a full-time basis.

1.3.3 Radio Officers Recruitment and entry: Radio officers, unlike other merchant seamen, are not usually employed directly by the shipowner. In Australia, Amalgamated Wireless


(Australasia) Limited (A.W.A.) provide radio officers and supply and service radio equipment, under contract to most shipping companies. Thus, most radio officers (over 90%) are in the employ of A.W.A., who recruit and train their future radio officers at their ‘Marconi School of Wireless’ at Sydney. Formal training: As for masters, mates and engineers, the formal training courses for radio officers are directed mainly towards the certificates of competency (listed in para. 1.2.4). Unlike the others, however, radio officers are required to obtain their certificates before going to sea—at their own expense.

Although full- and part-time courses for radio and communications technicians are available in the technical colleges in most capital cities, they do not provide specifically for marine work. Prior to 1954, marine radio schools operated in Melbourne and Sydney but since the Melbourne school closed down (due to lack of demand) the only formal training courses in the country are offered by the A.W.A. school at Sydney.

The A.W.A. ‘Marconi School of Wireless’ provides courses on a full- and part-time basis for marine radio officers and also for other technicians in the radio and television fields. The school is staffed by a head teacher, three full-time teachers, and three part­ time teachers for the day courses, and they are assisted by a number of part-time teachers for the part-time (evening) work.

So far as the marine work is concerned, up to 1971 the courses were directed towards the P.M.G. first class and second class certificates of proficiency. Since February 1971, an additional course has been offered leading to the new general certificate—which was introduced by the Postmaster-General’s Department in December, 1972. The first and second class certificates are being retained for some time yet, but it is likely that they will eventually be phased out, leaving the general certificates as the standard

qualification for sea-going radio officers on ships other than those depending on radio telephony. The courses for these certificates extend over two full years, on a full-time basis, and over a proportionately longer period if taken on a part-time basis. The number of trainees varies, but a total of some 20-25 enrol each year for the marine

radio courses.

The actual numbers passing the various parts of the P.M.G. examinations are given in Table 1. The number of passes at the ‘telegraphy’ part of the examinations represents only a slight understatement of the numbers entering the industry each year, as the numbers now coming from overseas sources are negligible. Thus, not more than eight to ten radio officers enter the industry each year.

1.3.4 Seamen Qualification and rating o f seamen: The Navigation Act1 requires that seamen must have served prescribed periods of qualifying sea service, and attained a prescribed age, before they are entitled to be rated as the following:

able seaman; ordinary seaman; greaser; fireman; trimmer;- and shipwright or ship’s carpenter. The purpose of the qualifying sea service is to ensure that seamen learn the job 1 2

1 N av ig atio n A c t, 1912-1972, S e c tio n s 39, 39A , 39B a n d 39C.

2 T rim m ers a re n o lo n g e r c a rrie d .


virtually by doing it. There is no requirement for formal training, and no requirement for ratings in Australian ships to obtain certificates or formal qualifications. Recruitment: Local recruitment of deck and engine-room ratings is normally at the deck boy and engine-room junior, levels. (Recruitment of experienced ratings from overseas sources is referred to in Section 2.) Boys are selected after interview by a panel consisting of representatives of the Department of Transport, the shipowners and the Seamen’s Union. Pre-sea training: As part of a negotiated industrial award—the Seamen’s Award1—shipowners collectively provide pre-sea training for deck boys and engine- room juniors. Australian Maritime Industry Ltd.—a company which is representative of the shipowners—runs the course in conjunction with Newcastle Technical College. Shipowners who are respondents to the Seamen’s Award contribute to the cost of the school in proportion to the crew numbers they employ.

Trainees, other than local residents, are paid an allowance of $7.00 per week and live in hotel accommodation at the expense of the industry. Where accommodation is not provided the allowance is $14.00 per week. Training is carried out in a large rigging room in Newcastle Technical College and this is supplemented by practical work on facilities (such as boats) loaned by shipping companies.

The course extends over six weeks. The first four weeks are devoted to training of a general nature such as ship organisation, ropes and rigging, life-saving appliances and fire-fighting, health and hygiene, and the law as it affects the seaman; and the remainder of the course covers specialist deck or engine-room work, as appropriate.

Instruction is provided by the nautical teacher who is responsible for the masters and mates courses (referred to in para.—assisted by a part-time instructor. The numbers of boys passing through the course each year, since it was started in 1967, are given in Table 5.


Year 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

D E C K B O Y S : E n ro lle d 36 75 70 51 47 26 11

C o m p le te d co u rse 34 73 66 47 46 26 11

E .R . J U N I O R S :

E n ro lle d 36 66 26 10 13 _

C o m p le te d c o u rse 36 61 26 10 13 - -

Source: Department of Transport

1. 3. 5 Cooks and stewards Cooks: The Navigation Act1 2 requires that, before a seaman is entitled to be rated as a cook (other than an assistant cook) he must have reached a prescribed age and had certain experience—including sea service.

1 N o w c alled th e M a ritim e In d u s tr y S eag o in g A w a rd : see su b -sec tio n 2 .2 fo r th e categ o rie s o f ships co v ere d b y th e A w ard . 2 N a v ig a tio n A c t 1912-1973, S e c tio n 121.


There is no requirement for cooks on Australian ships to hold formal qualifications, and there are no specialist marine training courses for ship’s cooks in this country. The majority of ships’ cooks in the Australian maritime industry have either served their time ashore as a cook or chef, or obtained a qualification as ship’s cook in an

overseas country. Stewards: There are no formal training courses of any kind available in Australia for ships’ stewards. The criteria for employment are: previous experience in this, or similar, work: or an apparent aptitude for such work.

Note: The numbers of cooks and stewards in the industry and the sources of recruitment are referred to in Section 2.





Manpower requirements




In this Section, trends in manpower requirements are investigated. For this purpose, changes in the constitution of the trading fleet are first looked at and, thereafter, the relationships between numbers of ships, numbers of berths to be filled, and numbers of seafarers required to fill these berths on a full-time basis, are investigated. From this, and a consideration of recruitment and wastage modes, an estimate is made of the potential numbers of trainees.

2.1.1 The Australian trading fleet:

Table 6 shows the number of ships, over 200 tons gross, having approval to engage in trading activities in Australia at 30 June of each year from 1957 to 1973. The table illustrates the overall decline in the number of ships and the rapid rise in both gross and deadweight tonnage.

These changes are represented graphically in Chart 1.

The trend is towards fewer ships of greater average size: whilst the figures for the number of ships represent a fall of 40% between 1957 and 1973, gross tonnage has risen by 95%, and deadweight tonnage by 119%. In the past ten years, 1964-73, the changes have been; a fall of 23 % in numbers of ships, a 9 % rise in gross tonnage and a 11% increase in deadweight tonnage.

However, the Table 6 figures represent a slight understatement of the number of ships on which the sea-going work force may find employment, since they do not include trading vessels under 200 tons, tugs, dredges, ferries, barges, river vessels, and vessels engaged in offshore exploration and exploitation work.

The decline in the numbers of ships in Table 6 is offset somewhat by an increase in the numbers of ships in the non-trading group. In the case of tugs and ‘offshore’ vessels in particular there is a trend to larger, more sophisticated vessels. The number of vessels in these categories, for the period 1957 to 73, is given in Table 7.

Tables 8, 9 and 10 illustrate tonnage groupings, age groupings, and type groupings, respectively over the years 1954-73. The figures do not include overseas registered ships on charter to Australian companies nor Australian owned, overseas registered, ships, In 1973 there were 14 such vessels average 23,243 tons deadweight. Nine of

them are less than ten years old.

These tables illustrate the movement in recent years towards larger ships and to an increase in the proportion of new and special purpose vessels in the fleet. The increase in the size of ships is particularly evident from 1967 (Table 8). The increase in the proportion of new tonnage in the fleet is illustrated in Table 9 by the fact that in 1954 just over one-tenth of the ships were under five years old, whereas in the last two years

one-quarter of the fleet are in this age category. The increase in the numbers of special purpose vessels over the past ten years is shown in Table 10.

The implications for recruitment and training would appear to be that the industry might require fewer men. But, because they are responsible for larger, more sophisti­ cated ships, they should be more skilled and therefore better trained than before.



C h a r t 1 - T H E A U S T R A L I A N T R A D I N G F L E E T , 1 9 5 7 - 1 9 7 3 - N u m b e r o f S h i p s a n d T o n n a g e

3 0 0 ,000

- 250,000 2 0 0 -

- 200,000

Gross Tonnage 170-

-1 5 0 ,0 0 0 160-D.W.T. Tonnage

- 100,000


___ /

- 5 0 ,0 0 0 1 2 0 -Number of ships 1 1 0 -72 73


TABLE 6 THE AUSTRALIAN TRADING FLEET, 1957-1973 (includes vessels over 200 gross tons permitted to trade in Australia at 30 June of each year


G ross

Na. tons D .W .T .

1973 80 936,164 1,390,332 23 128,567 201,119 10 103,560

1972 96 1,019,415 1,491,692 28 120,508 180,192 9 80,074

1971 100 940,829 1,330,333 24 84,914 126,474 12 100,298

1970 106 956,812 1,354,367 23 84,474 126,042 14 106,151

1969 105 821,507 1,146,508 22 53,600 73,195 13 68,491

1968 109 717,403 967,576 18 22,104 25,871 14 72,277

1967 108 696,878 939,674 23 25,564 30,455 15 100,045

1966 114 689,869 930,036 18 22,632 27,451 16 100,312

1965 114 630,722 844,223 19 22,371 26,374 17 100,690

1964 105 451,103 596,181 20 22,314 25,155 21 125,780

1963 104 430,935 572,337 21 25,141 29,525 21 133,707

1962 111 441,645 597,915 21 24,493 28,912 16 101,751

1961 118 462,432 619,896 26 23,715 29,016 18 113,960

1960 126 478,620 640,202 31 27,029 30,148 20 116,058

1959 133 497,611 666,515 29 25,484 69,109 1,8 104,406

1958 138 499,171 667,510 32 28,042 31,889 18 93,232

1957 136 478,018 645,806 37 30,089 32,980 17 90,341

129,360 103,263 110,749 121,433

91,000 94,307 130,832 129,772 129,995 163,585 176,098 132,988 141,351 143,763 125,141 111,291 107,017

113 1,168,291 1,720,311 133 1,219,997 1,775,147 136 1,126,041 1,567,556 143 1,149,437 1,601,342 140 943,598 1,310,703 141 811,784 1,087,754 146 822,487 1,100,961 148 812,813 1,087,259 150 753,783 1,000,593 146 599,197 785,521 146 589,783 777,960

148 567,889 759,815 162 600,107 790,263 177 621,707 814,113 180 627,501 820,250

188 620,445 810,690

190 598,448 785,803

Source: Australian Shipping and Shipbuilding Statistics, Department of Transport


Y ear T ugs D redges

S m a ll traders a n d river vessels O ff-shore vessels etc.

1973 234 75 49 37

1972 242 85 55 40

1971 229 83 58 30

1970 230 83 59 49

1969 218 82 54 40

1968 222 86 55 2

1967 209 82 53 1

1966 204 83 52 -

1965 180 70 49 -

1964 166 70 49 -

1963 156 63 51 -

1962 148 64 57 -

1961 148 61 82 -

1960 144 63 86 -

1959 143 62 86 -

1958 142 64 83 -

1957 124 61 90 -

Source: Australian Shipping and Shipbuilding Statistics, Department o f Transport


D .W .T . 1954 1957 1962 1967 1972 1975

less than 1,000 54 45 24 18 15 13

1,000- 5,000 71 67 59 55 34 26

5,000-10,000 59 51 34 25 17 17

10,000-15,000 6 9 16 22 21 16

15,000-20,000 - 1 4 8 10 6

20,000-30,000 - - 1 3 7 10

30,000-40,000 - - - 3 - -

40,000-50,000 - - - 1 1 1

50,000-60,000 - - - 1 7 7

60,000-70,000 - - - - 1 1

70,000 and over - - - 1 2

Total 190 173 138 136 114 99

Source: Australian Shipping and Shipbuilding— Department of Transport # Interstate, intrastate and overseas vessels of 200 tons and over, but not including vessels on charter.


1954 1957 1962 1967 1972 1975

20 and over 83 58 37 25 19 11

15-20 28 15 17 23 23 22

10-15 19 36 30 45 27 20

5-10 39 31 37 28 20 21

under 5 21 33 30 15 25 25

Total 190 173 138 136 114 99

Source: Australian Shipping and Shipbuilding— Department of Transport * Interstate, intrastate and overseas vessels of 200 tons and over, but not including vessels on charter.



1954 1957 1962 1967 1972 1973

Tankers 12 13 12

Bulk carriers 60 44 36 38 38 31

Bulk/general cargo General cargo 1>84 85



14 11

10 9

Passenger/general cargo 9 8 4 6 2 -

Special purpose - 3 7 18 18

Source: Australian Shipping and Shipbuilding— Department of Transport * Statistics not available for intrastate and overseas vessels.

2.1.2 Sea-going employment in the industry:

The main source of statistics on seafarers’ employment is the General Register of Seamen, maintained by the Department of Transport. The Register is basically a record of the engagement and discharge of seamen from ships to which the provisions of the Navigation Act (or a relevant State Act), requiring employment conditions to be the subject of Articles of Agreement between the master and seamen, apply.

This includes all Australian ships in the overseas and interstate trades, and a number of small vessels in the intrastate trade. It does not include tugs, dredges and most vessels engaged in ‘offshore’ exploration work etc. except in cases where these vessels are transferring their functions from one State to another, and thereby may be

required to carry Articles of Agreement for the voyage.

Apart from the lack of comprehensive coverage of intrastate shipping, the General Register has limitations to its usefulness as a basis for manpower and planning and training requirements. It does not provide enough information on such things as wastage, and why men leave the sea, etc. For example, a man is counted as having left the industry only after his name has failed to appear on the Register over a full calendar year. Conversely, a man may appear as an annual statistic even if he has only

done one short voyage during the year. This, in effect, can mean that a man has left the industry almost two years before he is recorded as such.

However, with these qualifications, the General Register still provides a useful guide to the numbers of positions or ‘berths’ available aboard ships, and to the manpower requirements of the industry.

An estimate of the number of ‘berths available’ is got by listing the number of sea­ farers employed at 30 June, on ships carrying Articles of Agreement Table 11 gives the figures for the period 1957 to 1973. The table represents a slight understatement of

the position because of the exclusion of certain small ships (referred to previously) which do not carry Articles of Agreement, and a few ships which might have been out of commission at the particular time.

An estimate of the manpower requirements of the industry is got by luting the number of seafarers actually employed at least once during the year on ships carryn^A rudes of Agreement. Table 12 gives the figures for the period 1957 to 1973. In is the additional factor of ‘wastage’, which is not accounte or kf

possible overstatement of the requirements for a permanently employed workforce.



K O O th er

1973 115 329 1 330

1972 133 330 4 334

1971 143 352 9 361

1970 155 344 9 353

1969 135 355 12 367

1968 144 358 5 363

1967 160 344 9 353

1966 170 348 4 352

1965 177 358 20 378

1964 163 334 1 335

1963 148 345 2 347

1962 158 341 3 344

1961 185 398 4 402

1960 171 391 1 392

1959 206 406 6 412

1958 196 426 11 437

1957 193 438 2 440

345 314 659 68 1,175

364 298 662 58 1,271

401 352 753 74 1,383

410 352 762 65 1,403

409 335 744 62 1,402

417 306 723 50 1,430

397 329 726 81 1,369

394 316 710 60 1,439

374 334 708 56 1,580

375 263 638 42 1,365

387 240 627 58 1,364

393 230 623 48 1,354

482 238 720 53 1,564

545 153 698 66 1,559

503 250 753 61 1,643

517 266 783 68 1,651

523 264 787 64 1,683

450 734 78 89 220

505 822 82 99 199

563 891 76 103 223

577 918 76 111 217

605 839 71 114 213

611 862 76 111 232

645 951 71 109 248

626 889 77 107 226

678 960 76 113 239

593 810 60 95 235

607 838 59 98 226

600 891 56 103 247

696 1,081 62 123 237

729 1,157 60 115 256

791 1,232 66 121 279

820 1,338 65 123 301

825 1,373 61 124 287

Source: Department of Transport K ey to table headings: CS—M asters; M—M ates; E—Engineers; A & C— Apprentices and Cadets; DR—Deck R atings; ER—Engine-room Ratings; CR—Catering Ratings; S— Shipwrights; RO—Radio Officers.

3,918 4,165 4,569 4,637

4,552 4,602 4,713 4,656

4,965 4,336 4,372 4,424

5,123 5,203 5,564 5,782


A rtic le s o f a g re e m e n t m u s t b e c a rrie d b y all s e a -g o in g s h ip s e n g a g e d in ov erseas a n d in te rs ta te tra d e . T a b le 11, c o n se q u e n tly , gives a n e stim a te o f th e n u m b e r o f

b e rth s (i.e. a ctu a l p o s itio n s a b o a rd sh ip ) a v ailab le e ac h y e a r fro m 1957 to 1973.


T o ta l

R O O ther

1973 231 689 7 696 757 681 1,438 117 2,500 949 1,545

1972 247 704 9 713 762 726 1,488 108 2,541 991 1,591

1971 269 732 19 751 800 758 1,558 130 2,621 1,052 1,638

1970 238 674 29 703 781 755 1,536 113 2,534 1,032 1,644

1969 211 640 22 662 757 666 2,111 108 2,371 1,025 1,499

1968 210 627 12 639 726 667 1,393 82 2,377 1,048 1,669

1967 218 608 15 623 709 700 1,409 129 2,259 991 1,555

1966 221 621 11 632 715 668 1,383 109 2,321 1,007 1,429

1965 242 623 44 667 683 580 1,263 82 2,527 1,066 1,517

1964 224 587 12 599 662 458 1,120 62 2,301 949 1,328

1963 207 571 3 574 665 431 1,096 75 2,121 927 1,344

1962 227 590 5 595 702 471 1,173 74 2,258 978 1,472

1961 245 647 7 654 804 374 1,198 92 2,507 1,183 1,802

1960 237 635 3 638 952 267 1,219 99 2,468 1,112 1,903

1959 264 653 9 662 842 422 1,264 91 2,493 1,172 2,009

1958 266 661 15 676 851 452 1,303 110 2,510 1,209 2,053

1957 263 675 6 681 861 450 1,311 103 2,679 1,348 2,103

226 174 628

228 184 499

208 197 506

196 190 492

174 190 457

175 178 513

174 186 493

158 160 464

156 169 493

124 150 512

115 139 420

117 159 470

129 167 468

117 168 510

116 170 560

112 165 574

120 170 589

8,504 8,590 8,930 8,678 8,120 8,284 8,037 7,884 8,182 7,369 7,018 7,523 8,445 8,470 8,801 8,978 9,367

Source: Department of Transport Key to table headings: CS—Masters; M —M ates; E—Engineers; A & C— Apprentices and Cadets; DR—Deck Ratings; ER—Engine-room Ratings; CR—Catering Ratings; S—Shipwrights; RO—Radio Officers.

E ach p e rso n is liste d o n ly on ce. A rticles o f A g re e m e n t m u s t b e c arrie d b y all

sh ip s engaged in overseas a n d in te rs ta te tra d e . C o n se q u e n tly , T a b le 12 p ro v id e s an estim ate o f th e to ta l a ctu a l w orkforce each y e ar fro m 1957 to 1973.

The study of employment trends in this Section is confined to the main categories of seafarer, under the broad headings of deck officers, engineer officers, deck ratings, engine-room ratings, etc. Unless mentioned specifically, cadets and apprentices are included with deck officers; and throughout this Section electricians are included with uncertificated engineers. ,

Other specialist grades such as radio officers and shipwrights—of which numbers are usually limited to one per ship—are referred to in other Sections of this Report.

2.1.3 Relationship between number of ships, berths available and personnel required:

Table 13 attempts to quantify this relationship. Over the period the decline in the number of ships has been accompanied by a decline in the number of berths available, and to some extent, the number of persons required to fill those berths. The percentage fall in the number of ships from 1957 to 1973 of 40% has been accompanied by a decline in berths available of 33 % and a fall in the number of persons employed of 9 %. However, in the past ten years, the respective figures are a fall of 23 % in the number of ships, 10% fall in berths available, but a rise in the number employed of

15%. Thus, whilst the number of berths has continued to decline, the number of persons earning a livelihood from work at sea has risen. An important contributory factor in this could be the more generous leave provisions granted to sea-going personnel since 1964.

The changes that have taken place have varied somewhat according to occupational classification. These changes are explored in Table 13 and represented graphically in Charts 2 to 5. Over the longer period (1957-73) the percentage decline in berths, or positions available aboard ship, has been greatest for the engine-room and catering ratings. For both categories, the percentage decline has been greater than the per­ centage drop in the numbers of ships in the fleet.

Over the past ten years, however, the decline in the numbers of berths has been less marked, and in some cases the numbers have increased. The total numbers available for employment in most categories has increased slightly over the ten year period.

The overall trend, therefore, appears to be a continued slight decrease in the numbers of berths available, but a constant or slightly increased requirement for personnel to keep the berths filled on a full-time basis. In this, there is the inherent assumption that the short-term fluctuations due to oversupply and undersupply of personnel cancel out.

There is some indication that there has been an oversupply of seamen in recent years; this is referred to in para. 2.2.1.


The trends evident in the statistics in this Section indicate that a modern specialised fleet requires smaller crew numbers, who, in the interests of safety and efficiency, would need to be more highly skilled than in the past. If these trends continue there will be a slight fall in the number of ships, an increase in tonnage, more special purpose vessels but—unless there is a rapid fall in the number of ships—no great alteration in the total labour force.





1973 113 115 231 330 696 68 117 659

1972 133 133 247 334 713 58 108 662

1971 136 143 269 361 751 74 130 753

1970 143 155 238 353 703 65 113 762

1969 140 135 211 367 662 62 108 744

1968 141 144 210 363 639 50 82 723

1967 146 160 218 353 623 81 129 726

1966 148 170 221 352 632 60 109 710

1965 150 177 242 378 667 56 82 708

1964 146 163 224 335 599 42 62 638

1963 146 148 207 347 574 58 75 627

1962 148 158 227 344 595 48 74 623

1961 162 185 245 402 654 53 92 720

1960 177 171 237 392 638 66 99 698

1959 180 206 264 412 662 61 91 753

1958 188 196 266 437 676 68 110 783

1957 190 193 263 440 681 64 - 103 787


1957-73 40% -4 0 % -1 2 % -2 5 % + 2% + 6% + 14% -1 6 %

1964-73 ~23% -2 9 % + 3% - 2 % + 16% + 62% +89% + 3%

1,438 1,488 1,558 1,536 2,111

1,393 1.383 1.383 1.263 1,120 1,096 1,173 1,198 1,219 1.264 1,303 1,311

+ 9% +28%

89 174

99 184

103 197

111 190

114 190

111 178

109 186

107 160

113 169

95 150

98 139

103 159

123 167

115 168

121 170

123 165

124 170

-2 8 % + 2%

- 6 % + 16%


N o . o f

Year ships D R E R C R S O


1973 113 1,175 2,500 450 949 734 1,545 78 226 220 628

1972 133 1,271 2,541 505 991 821 1,591 82 228 199 499

1971 136 1,383 2,621 563 1,052 891 1,638 76 208 223 506

1970 143 1,403 2,534 577 1,032 918 1,644 76 196 217 492

1969 140 1,402 2,371 605 1,025 839 1,499 71 174 213 457

1968 141 1,430 2,377 611 1,048 862 1,699 76 175 232 513

1967 146 1,369 2,259 645 991 951 1,555 71 174 248 493

1966 148 1,439 2,321 627 1,007 899 1,429 77 158 226 464

1965 150 1,580 2,527 678 1,066 960 1,517 76 156 239 493

1964 146 1,365 2,301 593 949 810 1,328 60 124 235 512

1963 146 1,364 2,121 607 927 838 1,344 59 115 226 420

1962 148 1,354 2,258 600 978 891 1,472 56 117 247 470

1961 162 1,564 2,507 696 1,183 1,081 1,802 62 129 237 468

1960 177 1,559 2,468 729 1,112 1,157 1,903 60 117 256 510

1959 180 1,643 2,493 791 1,172 1,232 2,099 66 126 279 560

1958 188 1,651 2,510 820 1,209 1,338 2,053 65 112 301 574

1957 190 1,683 2,679 825 1,348 1,373 2,103 61 120 287 589


1957-73 -4 0 % -3 0 % - 7 % -4 5 % -2 9 % -4 6 % -2 6 % +27% + 88% - 3 4 % + 7%

1964-73 -2 3 % -1 4 % + 9% -2 4 % 0% - 9 % + 16% +30% + 82% - 4 % +23%

T o ta l


3,918 8,504

4,165 8,590

4,569 8,930

4,637 8,678

4,552 8,120

4,602 8,284

4,713 8,037

4,656 7,884

4,965 8,182

4,386 7,369

4,372 7,018

4,424 7,523

5,123 8,445

5,203 8,470

5,564 8,801

5,782 8,978

5,832 9,367

-3 3 % - 9 %

- i o % + 15%

Source: Department of Transport Key: C S — M a s te rs ; M — M a te s ; E — E n g in e e rs ; E R — E n g in e -ro o m R a tin g s; S — S h ip w rig h ts ; A & C — A p p re n tic e s a n d C a d e ts ; C R — C a te rin g R a tin g s;

B— B erth s (T a b le 11); N — N o s. E m p lo y e d (T a b le 1 2 ); R O — R ad io O fficers;

D R — D eck R a tin g s; O — O th e r.

* T a b le 13 is a c o n so lid atio n o f T a b le s 11 a n d 12. E s tim a te s o f b e rth s (o r a c tu a l

p o sitio n s o n b o a rd ) a n d to ta l n u m b e rs o f p e rso n s a c tu a lly e m p lo y e d a re c o m ­

p a re d fo r th e p e rio d . W h ile th e n u m b e r o f b e rth s is closely re la te d to th e n u m b e r o f sh ip s, th e n u m b e rs in e m p lo y m e n t a re less closely re la te d b e ca u se o f flu c tu a ­ tio n s in in d u s tria l p ro v isio n s re la tin g to h o u rs o f w o rk a n d leave.



3 0 0 ­








- M A S T E R S : P e rso n s e m p l o y e d a n d B erth s available, 1 9 5 /' - 1973

58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73


1700 ·










- M A T E S & E N G I N E E R S : P e r s o n s e m p l o y e d a n d B e r t h s av ailable , 1 9 5 7 - 1 9 7 3

Engineers (Persons)

58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67™~68 69 70 71~~72


_ Mates (Persons) - Engineers (Berths)

— Mates (Berths) 1 '



C h a r t 4 - D E C K & E N G I N E - R O O M R A T I N G S : Persons em p lo y e d a n d Berths available, 1957 - 19 73

3500 -


^ Deck Ratings . (Persons)


2 0 0 0 -


Deck Ratings (Berths)

E.R. Ratings (Persons)

1 0 0 0 -

500- E,R. Ratings


67 68 69 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 70 71



C h a r t 5 - C A T E R I N G R A T I N G S : P e r s o n s e m p l o y e d a n d B e r t h s av ai la b le , 1 9 5 7 - 1 9 7 3

3 0 0 0 -

2500 -

2000 -

Persons 1500 -

1000 -


5 0 0 -

59 60 61 65 66 67 69 70


It is appropriate, therefore, to now look at the present recruitment figures in order to come to some conclusion on the scope of the training task. There are, however, a number of variable factors which necessitate great caution in extrapolating from the current figures to estimate future recruitment requirements. Of these the major

factors are:

the relatively large component of trained personnel, particularly deck officers, coming into the industry from overseas sources; and wastage from the industry.

Both these factors appear to be changing in recent years.

In this sub-section, the figures for deck and engineer officers are taken from the General Register of Seamen.1 For deck and engine-room ratings, cooks, stewards and crew attendants the statistics have been taken from the records of the Marine Cooks, Marine Stewards, and Seamens’ Engagement System. This is a system, provided under

the Maritime Industry Sea-going Award, to rationalise and stabilise the employment of Australian seamen. A register of seamen who are available for employment within the Engagement System is maintained by the Department of Transport; and this provides a more up-to-date and easily accessible source of statistics than the General


The Engagement System covers all Australian ships in the overseas and interstate trades, and also ships in the intrastate trade, except for a few small ships whose owners are not respondents to the various industrial awards. It also covers tugs and dredges in most main ports (other than in N.S.W. and Tasmania) and some of the

ships engaged in ‘offshore’ operations. The parameters are thus not identical with those of the General Register: the main difference being that ‘non-union’ ships are not covered by the Engagement System. On the other hand, the Engagement System covers many of the tugs and dredges (which do not take out articles of agreement and

are not covered by the General Register). In general, therefore, both systems cover the same area of employment in the ‘big-ship’ sector of the industry; and the few small ‘non-union’ ships which are not covered by the Engagement System are more than made up for in terms of employment opportunities by tugs, dredges, ‘offshore’

vessels, etc.1 2 However, both systems provide a useful guide to the present recruitment patterns.

2.2.1 Annual recruitment requirements:

Table 14 shows the numbers of deck and engineer officers (including cadets and apprentices) entering into the Australian Merchant Navy for the first time, over the period 1965 to 1973.

Table 15 gives similar ‘entrant’ figures for deck and engine-room ratings from 1968 to 1973; and for stewards and cooks during 1972 and 1973. The latter periods, or time scales, are limited by the length of time that the relevant engagement system has been in operation.

1 See para. 2.1.2 for description. 2 At 30 June 1973, the General Register figures indicated that there were around 1,625 berths available for deck and engine-room ratings, whereas the Engagement System records indicated a figure of 1,826.


In both tables the figures represent persons entering the industry fo r the first time. Re­ entrants are not included in the statistics.

The average annual ‘entrant’ figures, over the period for each category is, in round figures:

deck officers 105

engineer officers 175

deck ratings 115

engine-room ratings 39

crew attendants 8

However, in the past two years the annual averages have fallen quite markedly, to the following:

deck officers 74

engineer officers 88

deck ratings 46

engine-room ratings 4

crew attendants 1

The annual figures for stewards and cooks—which are only recorded for the past two years—are:

stewards 18

cooks 18

In view of the fact that the trends identified in sub-section 2.1 indicated a constant, or slightly increased, requirement for personnel, the reduction in the numbers of entrants in the last two years appears somewhat surprising.

However, there are some indications that the relatively low ‘entrant’ figures over the last two years may be related to an ‘oversupply’ or surplus of manpower. For example, the half-yearly reports on the Engagement System1 indicate that there was an acute shortage of ratings at certain times during 1970: possibly due to the fact that the number of registered seamen was not sufficient to take account of the increased recreation leave provisions.

The situation changed during 1971 and 1972 to that of a surplus of seamen (this was assisted by the laying-up of ten ships due to lack of suitable cargo); and by the end of 1972 there was an estimated surplus on the register of 342 deck and engine-room ratings, 86 stewards and 26 cooks.

A factor in this ‘oversupply’ situation could be that men are not leaving the industry as readily as in previous years. This is investigated in para. 2.2.3.

2.2.2 Sources of recruitment:

Tables 14 and 15 also give the sources from which new entrants have come. Of the 946 deck officer entrants, 348 or 37% were recruited, and therefore received some or all of their training, in Australia; 598 or 63% came from, and were consequently at least partially trained, overseas. This substantial component of entrants from overseas

1 Reports to the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission on the Operation of the Engagement System—Department of Transport.


sources, especially the British Merchant Navy, is a significant factor in determining the training tasks, since the drying up of recruitment from overseas, particularly the United Kingdom, could lead to a shortage of trained personnel and a lack of facilities

to train Australian recruits to meet the shortage. The large proportion of entrants from overseas has been a feature right throughout the period. In 1965, 48% of the entrants came from Australia and 52% from overseas. In 1970, only 26% of entrants were recruited in Australia, and in 1973 the figure was 45%. It is clear the industry would have found it difficult to function without the aid of personnel trained outside


The industry has been less reliant upon overseas sources for engineer officers and for ratings. From 1965 to 1973, 973 or 62% of the total of 1,574 new engineer officer entrants came from Australia and 601 or 38% from overseas. The British Merchant Navy was the largest single overseas source providing 400 or 25 % of the total. Of the 975 deck and engine-room ratings, 595 (61 %) were recruited in Australia and 380

(39 %) overseas.


1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 T o ta l

A No. 47 43 35 42 34 36 40 34 30 341

% 46 35 36 40 29 26 35 42 45 36

B No. 37 54 47 46 53 64 56 27 22 406

% 36 44 48 43 46 46 49 34 33 43

C No. 3 9 2 7 10 10 4 2 3 50

% 3 7 2 7 9 7 4 3 4 5

D No. 14 18 11 11 17 29 13 17 12 142

% 13 14 11 10 15 21 11 21 18 15

E No. 2 - 3 - 1 - 1 - - 7

% 2 - 3 - 1 - 1 - - 1

Total 103 124 98 106 115 139 114 80 67 946


A No. 157 123 117 105 129 128 101 28 65 953

% 61 60 63 65 57 61 64 43 58 61

B No. 69 58 42 33 55 51 39 22 31 400

% 27 28 23 20 24 24 25 34 28 25

C No. 9 4 7 7 8 6 4 2 1 48

% 4 2 4 4 4 3 3 3 1 3

D No. 19 16 18 16 29 22 8 12 13 153

% 7 8 10 10 13 11 5 18 12 10

E No. 2 3 1 2 4 2 4 1 1 20

% 1 2 - 1 2 1 3 2 1 1

Total 256 204 185 163 225 209 156 65 111 1,574

Source: Department of Transport. , .

* i.e. N u m b e r of p e rs o n s w h o e n te re d th e A u stra lia n In d u s try (i.e., engaged in ships to w h ic h the G eneral

R eg iste r o f S e a m e n ap p lie s) for th e first tim e d u rin g each y e ar fro m 1965 to 1973, sh ow ing: A — th o se w h o h a d n o p re v io u s serv ice as officers o r h a d serv ed on ly in tu g s, ferries, d re d g e s o r o th e r sm all c ra ft fo r w h ic h n o re c o rd s are m a in ta in e d in th e G e n eral R eg iste r; B— th o se w h o h a d p re v io u sly s erv ed in U .K . s h ip s ;

C — th o se w h o h a d p re v io u sly serv ed in N .Z . sh ip s; D — th o s e w h o h a d p re v io u sly serv ed in o th e r C o m m o n w e alth o r foreign s h ip s; and, E — th o s e w ho h a d p re v io u sly s erv ed in th e R .A .N .


Source: Department of Transport Key: A B — A ble S e a m a n ; O S — O rd in a ry S e a m a n ; D B — D e ck B o y ; C A — C rew A tte n d a n t; E R — E n g in e -ro o m R atin g .


Y ear


T o ta ls

s c

N o p revious experience R .A .N .

s . c S C

U .K . M e rc h a n t N a v y O ther


1972 1973

2 - - 1

24 11 - 8

- - 1 -

8 11 1 4

3 1

33 34

Totals 26 11 - 9 8 11 2 4 36 35

Source: Department of Transport Key: S — S te w a rd s C —“ -C ooks

In the case of cooks and stewards: over the past two years, 20 out of the 35 cooks (57 %) were recruited in Australia and the remaining 43 % came from overseas sources; and for stewards 26 of the total entry of 36 (72%) were recruited in Australia and the remaining 28 % came from overseas sources.

Whilst the imbalance in favour of overseas recruitment, and consequently overseas training, is less marked in the case of engineer officers and ratings, the dependence upon overseas trained personnel is quite significant, particularly when looked at against the background of the total Australian workforce: which is 75% Australian and 25 % overseas born.

Table 15 also illustrates that of 595 entrants from Australia as deck and engine-room ratings, between 1968 and 1973, 163 (27%) were untrained, despite the existence of the pre-sea course for ratings at Newcastle Technical College.

2.2.3 Wastage of labour:

Tables 16 and 17 illustrate the patterns of wastage for recent entrants to the industry: for officers and ratings, respectively.

The figures for deck and engineer officer entrants over the years 1965-1973 show similar patterns. The tendency in both categories is for a large segment of each intake to serve for only a short period before leaving. About one in every four entrants appears to leave within the first year; and within three years almost half of each year s

intake has left the industry. Possibly these figures somewhat overstate the wastage: due to such factors as officers leaving for experience in overseas fleets (and possibly returning later), officers trans­ ferring to the small ship sector of the industry, etc. Nevertheless, they do indicate a

disturbingly high rate of wastage of new entrants to the industry.

It was shown earlier (Tables 11 and 12) that, despite a decline in the numbers of berths available in the fleet, the number of officers employed had actually increased somewhat since 1965. Since the number of recruits to the industry has not increased substantially (in fact Table 14 shows that they have recently shown a marked decline) the be­

havioural pattern of the pre-1965 entrants must be providing a balance factor to the


high wastage rate for new entrants. That is, the wastage rate of the pre-1965 entrants must be low and/or the better service conditions since 1965 has attracted a substantial number of ex-seafarers back to the industry.

The Table 17 figures for ratings show a lower rate of wastage than that for the deck and engineer officers. Nevertheless, it appears that some 10% of deck and engine- room entrants leave within a year; and 20% to 25% leave before serving two years.

The lower wastage rate for the rating categories may be due to the fact that there are less opportunities for them to transfer to overseas fleets; and to the fact that transfers to tugs, dredges and offshore supply vessels etc. would not, in this case, appear as wastage statistics.1 In any case, the figures still represent a significant wastage factor.


Y ears o f service

Y e a r N u m b e r ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- S till serving

o f o f less than 1 1 - 3 4 - 6 7 -9

e n tr y en trants

N o . % N o . % N o . % N o . % N o . %

1965 103 13 13 21 20 25 24 7 7 37 36

1966 124 22 18 33 27 23 19 3 2 43 34

1967 98 29 30 26 26 9 9 3 3 31 32

1968 106 29 27 26 25 9 8 42 40

1969 115 26 23 23 20 13 11 53 46

1970 139 30 22 31 22 - - 78 56

1971 114 27 24 23 20 64 56

1972 80 22 28 6 7 52 65

1973 67 4 6 63 94

Total 946 202 22


1965 256 56 22 74 29 36 14 23 9 67 26

1966 204 35 17 46 23 31 15 11 5 81 40

1967 185 48 26 51 28 22 12 6 3 58 31

1968 163 29 18 39 24 20 12 75 46

1969 225 60 27 49 22 14 6 102 45

1970 209 46 22 54 26 3 1 106 51

1971 156 31 20 31 20 94 60

1972 65 29 45 5 8 31 47

1973 111 9 8 102 92

Total 1,574 343 22

Source: Department of Transport * N u m b e r o f years fo r w h ic h p e rso n s c o n ce rn e d c o n tin u e d to serve in th e A u stra lia n in d u stry . P e rso n s w h o serv ed a t a n y tim e a fte r 30 J u n e 1973 are in c lu d e d as ‘still serv in g ’. S o m e o f th e se m a y h av e h a d breaks o f service since first e n try .

1 The statistics for ratings are taken from the records of the Engagement System, which covers those small ships which Seamen’s Union members serve in (see page 61).



Year o f e n try

N u m b e r o f en tra n ts

Y ears o f service

SW// serving

less than 1 1 -2 3 - 4 5 - 6

N o . % N o . % N o . % N o . % N o . %

1968 135 12 9 31 23 11 8 3 2 78 58

1969 132 18 14 10 7 12 9 92 70

1970 212 20 10 15 7 11 5 166 78

1971 122 7 6 9 7 106 87

1972 44 3 7 3 7 38 86

1973 48 4 8 44 92

Total 693 64 9

E N G I N E - R O O M R A T I N G S

1968 99 9 9 19 19 10 10 5 5 56 57

1969 34 3 9 3 3 5 15 23 67

1970 66 9 14 9 14 2 3 46 69

1971 38 2 5 6 16 „ . 30 79

1972 4 - - - - 4 100

1973 3 - - - - 3 100

Total 244 23 9


1968 4 2 50 _ 2 50

1969 4 1 25 1 25 1 25 1 25

1970 18 6 33 1 6 - - 11 61

1971 10 1 10 1 10 8 80

1972 1 - - 1 100 - -

1973 1 - - 1 100

Total 38 10 26


Y ea rs o f Service

Year o f e n try

N u m b e rs ■

o f

en tra n ts ■

/era than 1 1 - 2

■ 57/7/ j·erving

N o . % N o . . % N o . %

1972 3 _ 3 100

1973 33 - - 33 100

Total 36 - -


1972 1 - - - 1 100

1973 34 3 9 31 91

Total 35 3 9

Source: Department of Transport N u m b e r o f years fo r w h ic h p e rso n s c o n c e rn e d c o n tin u e d to serve in th e A u stra lia n In d u s try . P e rso n s w h o s erv ed a t an y tim e a fte r 30 J u n e 1973 are in c lu d e d as ‘still serv in g ’. Som e o f th e se m ay have had b re a k s o f serv in g sin ce first e n try .



2.3.1 Numbers for training:

Assuming that the trend identified in sub-section 2.1 continues (i.e. no great change in the total number of seafarers employed), and that the present patterns of wastage and recruitment from overseas sources continue, then a conservative estimate of the numbers (in round figures) of Australian new entrants for training in the immediate future would be:

30 deck officer entrants 60 engineer officer entrants 45 deck ratings 15 engine-room ratings

10 cooks 10 stewards

If however, the supply of trained personnel from overseas sources were to cease and the overall wastage rates were to increase, these numbers would be lifted substantially. Assuming a wastage rate of the order of that associated with the Table 14 and 15 figures, the numbers for training would be increased to approximately:

105 deck officers 175 engineer officers 120 deck ratings 45 engine-room ratings

25 cooks 25 stewards

These estimates refer to persons entering the industry for the first time. They do not take account of the training requirements for ex-seafarers returning to the industry, or for updating and specialist training for the existing workforce.

2.3.2 Summary:

In this section on Manpower Requirements an attempt has been made to identify the trends in the employment patterns of the main categories of seafarer. The consequent estimate of potential numbers of trainees is complicated by the two factors of: wastage; and recruitment of trained personnel from overseas sources. Both are of a substantial magnitude; and changes in those factors would result in significant changes in the numbers of potential trainees.

The deductions and conclusions arrived at in this Section are summarised below:

A greater proportion of the Australian commercial fleet is larger, newer, and more specialised than in previous years with the implication that seafarers should have higher skills and therefore be better trained than hitherto (s. 2.1.1).

Recent trends indicate a continued slight decrease in the numbers of trading vessels over 200 gross tons, with a consequent slight decline in the numbers of berths to be filled. But the numbers of seafarers employed to fill these berths on a full-time basis remains constant, or is increasing slightly (s. 2.1.3).

There has been a substantial decline in the number of entrants to the industry in the last two years. This is probably due to lower overall wastage rates, to ex-


seafarers being attracted back to sea by the better industrial conditions pertaining in recent years and, at least for ratings, to an oversupply of personnel during 1971 and 1972. For example, compared with the average figures for the last eight years, the number of engineer entrants has halved; and deck officer entrants numbers

have dropped by over 25%. Deck ratings entrants have declined by 60% and the recruitment of engine-room ratings has almost stopped (s. 2.2.1).

The industry would have found it difficult to function without the aid of seafarers trained in overseas countries. This is particularly so in the case of deck officers: well over half of the deck officer entrants in recent years have come from overseas sources. Almost 40 % of the engineer officer entrants and the deck and engine-room

ratings come from other countries (s. 2.2.2).

There is a disturbingly high rate of wastage amongst recent entrants to the industry. This could be as high as one in every four of new deck and engineer officer entrants leaving the industry before serving one year. Within three years, it appears that almost half of each year’s intake has left. The effects of this are apparently balanced

by the tendency for longer-serving personnel to stay at sea, and for ex-seafarers to return to the industry. But changes in these patterns of wastage, and a drying-up of the overseas sources of recruitment could increase the numbers of potential trainees by up to 200 % (s. 2.2.3).





Deficiencies of the present system of

training and examinations


The present system of training and examinations has come in for a deal of criticism in recent years. Much of it has been couched in general terms, such as: the statutory examination syllabuses are outdated; and the training and certificate system needs to be completely overhauled.

This Section starts by looking at these general attitudes, the background to them, and the proposals which have been made to remedy matters. Thereafter some particular deficiencies are identified and discussed separately.

It is evident from the outset that the inadequacies are greatest—and also most difficult to rectify—in the ‘deck’ side of the industry. Most of the other shipboard categories have associated disciplines in shore-based industries from which they can benefit to some extent, e.g. the established technical education courses for mechanical engineers

and for catering personnel. But there are no nautical education courses available in Australia from which deck officer training might have benefited.

In this Section where deficiencies are referred to in general terms they would apply particularly to the deck department but also, although to a lesser extent, to the engine-room department. This would apply, for example, to the view expressed in para. 3.1.2 that the present system needs to be completely restructured.

The Australian system of certificates and training has, up to recent times, followed closely on British practices. The reason for this was referred to in the introduction to Section 1. Because of this, frequent references are made to recent developments in the United Kingdom. This is not to imply that the U.K. practices should be followed by

Australia, but simply to indicate clearly where Australian practice has stopped developing along the U.K. lines— without having substituted any alternative line o f development.

The deficiencies in training and examinations discussed in this Section refer specifically to ships in the interstate and overseas trades. The inshore fishing industry is mentioned in para. in the context of a requirement for training facilities to meet local needs around the coast. But for the fishing industry in general there is little or nothing

provided in the way of training and qualifications. For this reason, the requirements for commercial fishermen are discussed, separately, in Section 4.

3.1.1 The statutory examination syllabuses are outdated:

There is general agreement, amongst the interested parties, on this item. It applies in particular to the masters and mates certificates, but also to those for engineers although to a lesser extent. New syllabuses for radio officer certificates have recently been introduced, as indicated in para. 1.2.4.

Examples of recent comments from the shipowner side of the industry are given below. They were made to P.A. Management Consultants1 in response to a query about the adequancy of the present system, and are:

1 ‘Feasibility Study in regard to National Maritime Training School for the Australian Commission on Advanced Education’, pp. 152 & 159. A study which was carried out by P.A^ Management Consultants, for the Australian Commission on Advanced Education (A.C.A.E.). The findings ot the study are taken into account in the A.C.A.E. submission to this Commission, a summary of which is contained in para. 5.2.1.


for Deck Officers: ‘There is a real need for a comprehensive revision of the syllabus to remove some of the unnecessary matters which are presently included. Thereafter, a regular revision of the course to incorporate the latest technological develop­ ments would be necessary.’

and for Engineers: ·

the comment: ‘Revision of syllabus to keep abreast of technological changes’ was given as a desirable improvement.

The Department of Transport examiners also consider that the syllabuses presently in use require updating. In the case of the masters’ and mates’ certificates there is a need for a general updating to bring the Australian syllabuses up to the standard of countries with which we have an arrangement for mutual recognition of certificates. For engineers the need is for increased coverage of new types of machinery and equipment such as gas turbines and control systems. They point out however that even if the syllabus content was confined to new ships and equipment (and there are still a number of old ships around) this still would not remedy the malaise of the present system. There are a number of reasons for this; two of the major ones may be sum­ marised as follows:

commercial, managerial and industrial relations work (the lack of which is frequently referred to in criticisms of the present system) cannot be dealt with adequately in the ‘question and answer’ type machinery of the statutory examination system; and the examinations are primarily concerned with safety matters. Safe operation (not to mention efficient operation) of a modern vessel increasingly demands a full understanding of the use (including the limitations) of sophisticated pieces of equipment. Again the examination machinery—with the frequently repeated, and well known questions for which candidates are coached by the existing schools— cannot be a substitute for real training.

Nevertheless, new syllabuses have been prepared by the examiners of masters, mates and engineers, and some discussion on those has already taken place with representa­ tives of the industry and the teaching establishments.

In the case of the deck officers a consultative document1 has been circulated to the industry for comment. In the document the examiners have suggested a system whereby the certificate of competency syllabuses and general requirements could be incorporated within broadly-based courses of technical education in order that candidates might gain a more thorough understanding of the basic concepts and underlying principles of the subject matter. An additional advantage would be the opportunity for trainees to gain accredited educational qualifications concurrently with their certificates of competency. For deck officer training such a scheme would involve a complete restructuring of the system and—as there is little in the way of educational courses in nautical subjects available in Australia—the introduction of courses in nautical science.

1 Consultative document—‘Proposed Certificate Structure and Syllabuses for Masters and Mates in the Australian Merchant Navy’, Department of Transport.


For marine engineers the problem is somewhat less complex because of the existence of mechanical engineering courses in the technical colleges. The cadet and trainee engineer schemes1 referred to in para. are examples of combined training courses for the certificates of competency and accredited engineering qualifications. From this year the number of examinations per year is being reduced in the hope that candidates will follow courses leading to higher technician qualifications, which carry exemption from all the theoretical parts of the certificate syllabuses.

Whilst this latter arrangement should help to ‘broaden’ the subject matter and thereby help to eliminate the ‘cramming’ aspects of the certificate preparatory courses, the benefits of such a scheme are limited. Apprentice engineers follow the courses by day-release and part-time evening study—which is not as appropriate for this level of work as ‘block-release’ and ‘full-time’ courses; and serving marine engineers have difficulty in getting sufficient time to follow the full courses. A preferable solution is seen in the development of the cadet-engineer scheme, as the main route to full qualification as a marine engineer.

3.1.2 The present Certificate and training system needs to be completely restructured:

This view represents the response of the Department of Transport examiners to the claim that the examination syllabuses are outdated. But it has also been propounded in solutions suggested by most other authorities on the subject; e.g. the paper written by Mr T. Norris of the Department of Shipping and Transport;1 2 3 the submissions by the maritime unions and organisations; and the proposals made jointly by the Commission on Advanced Education, and the Departments of Education, Transport and Primary Industry.

The teachers of navigation and marine engineering in general, support the proposals for a complete restructuring. However, the navigation school teachers, in particular, have pointed to the difficulties of achieving this in the existing establishments—due to staff and equipment shortages.

The shipowners, whilst having certain reservations about the centralisation of training facilities, are not opposed to the changes suggested for the certificate structures.

The main reasons, put forward by the examiners, for changing the system were referred to in the previous sub-section. That is, the inherent inability of what is virtually an ‘external’ examination system to cope with a situation which demands increasingly sophisticated training provisions. Another important factor, however— and one which also needs to be referred to in general terms at this stage—is the need for a certificate structure and training programmes which are appropriate to Australian conditions.

Up to the present time, changes in the certificate requirements, and indeed in the actual syllabus content, have directly reflected changes in the United Kingdom certificate requirements—upon which the Australian system is based." In recent years however, the British system has become increasingly integrated into the country s

1 Para., the ANL cadet scheme is referred to under category (b), and the marine engineer trainee scheme under (a) (ii). .

2 ‘Training for Work at Sea’—Department of Shipping and Transport 1971. 3 See para 1.1 for an explanation of this.


technical education system, involving nautical and engineering qualifications which have no direct counterparts in Australia. The Department of Transport examiners have suggested that the time has come for Australia to have a statutory certificate structure and requirements which are appropriate to Australian conditions. To this end the new certificate structures proposed for masters, mates and engineers incorporate the following major features: .

a new structure of certificate grades appropriate to Australian operational areas and conditions, covering all sizes of commercial vessels (including fishing vessels); the ‘small ship’ end of the scale has been developed in conjunction with the State marine authorities, to allow for the introduction of a uniform system of certificates throughout the country.

For deck officers these proposals, together with suggestions for incorporating the examination requirements within new courses in nautical science, are included in the consultative document1 referred to in the previous sub-section.

For marine engineers the proposals for new certificates are limited, so far, to the ‘small ship’ end of the certificate structure and these have been developed in con­ junction with the State marine authorities.1 2

The examinations for radio officer certificates are described in paras. 1.2.4 and 1.3.3. The Postmaster General’s Department examiners have made no similar suggestions for incorporating their requirements within technical education courses, although they are concerned about the low pass rates at their examinations (see Table 1). The Professional Radio Employees Institute, however, takes the view that the radio officer’s function should be extended to include responsibility for the maintenance of shipboard electronic equipment. Provided that agreement is reached on the matter, there seems no reason why radio officer training should not be incorporated in courses—such as those leading to qualification as telecommunication technician— within the country’s technical education system.

In the following sub-sections the particular inadequacies of the present system— which have cumulatively resulted in the general criticisms and proposals outlined in this sub-section—are dealt with in some detail.


3.2.1 Control and planning A need fo r better manpower planning: There is some evidence of a lack of planning for future manpower requirements in the Australian maritime industry.

For example, it was shown in Section 2 (Table 14) that over the years 1965 to 1973, 63 % of the deck officer entrants to the Australian merchant navy came from overseas sources: 43% of those coming from the British merchant navy. Although shipowners have indicated that their requirements will remain about the same in the foreseeable future, the numbers of deck cadets recruited annually has declined from 45 in 1968 to

1 Consultative Document—‘Proposed Certificate Structure and Syllabuses for Masters and Mates in the Australian Merchant Navy’, Department of Transport. 2 See para. 5.1.3 and Table 24 for new certificates proposed.


25 in 1973; and there is a current acute shortage of certificated deck officers in the British merchant navy.

Similarly, concern has been expressed recently by the Seamen’s Union at the low numbers of berths being made available for deck boys. The figures in Tables 5 and 15 show a decline in the numbers of deck boys entering the industry from 85 in 1968 to 43 in 1973. The fact that 73 of the 1968 intake, but only 11 of the 1973 intake, came from the pre-sea training school at Newcastle seems to indicate a lack of forward planning.

The industry might well claim that these reductions are justified in the short term because of the tendency for established personnel to stay at sea longer, and for former seafarers to return—due to the better service conditions now offering. In the longer

term, however, such reductions in recruitment must be questionable; particularly in view of the disturbing fact that a large proportion of new entrants continue to leave the sea within a few years of joining. This is particularly so for deck and engineer officers (see Table 16 and para. 2.2.3); and, as indicated previously, the British merchant navy—a major source of trained deck officers—is critically short of certificated officers.

The situation is not improved by the fact that there is a dearth of readily useable information on such matters as wastage, how long men stay at sea, and why they leave, etc.—on which to base forward planning. -The main sources of statistics on numbers of seamen is the General Register of

Seamen maintained by the Department of Transport. But the system of recording was not designed for the purpose of providing the sort of information on recruitment, retention, turnover, etc. which is necessary for forward planning of recruitment and training.

3 .2 .1 .2 Too many bodies involved in the control o f marine education and training: Unlike many other industries, which are associated with particular areas of the country and have localised requirements for recruitment and training, the shipping industry is basically national in character. Indeed shipping regulations and agree­ ments are increasingly becoming international in nature.

The Australian Department of Transport is the major regulatory body for shipping and thus for the certificates of competency for masters, mates and engineers: but the training is provided in State technical colleges. The Postmaster General’s Department controls the examination of radio operators: but the training is provided by a private establishment. Apart from the Seamen’s Stabilisation System, the shipping companies

recruit and train their personnel independently of each other—and the seafarers organisations exert their various influences. There is no co-ordinating body such as a Merchant Navy Training Board and there is no Seafarers Education Service or College of the Sea, as in the United Kingdom.

There is some evidence that the lack of overall co-ordination results in too much being left to chance: the informal training a seafarer gets seems often to depend largely upon the interest taken by his superior officers, who are increasingly subject to the pressures of tighter commercial schedules; and, as mentioned previously

formal training is almost exclusively confined to the certificates ‘cramming courses.


Whilst the mode of training for the future cannot be specified in exact terms, it is certain that it must be flexible enough to meet the changes which are now occurring more rapidly than in previous years. It seems clear also that there must be more emphasis on training as such, rather than ‘learning by doing’—which is costly in the long term. Furthermore, there appears to be a need for a more coherent pattern of training and qualifications than exists at present—under the control of a council or board; representative of the various sectors of industry, Government Departments, etc.

3 .2.1.3 Seafarers and shipowners do not benefit from the national provision of education to the extent that most other professions and industries do: The existing pattern of marine education and qualifications was set before a national system of technical education was developed. It has remained largely outside the national system, with responsibility for costs remaining with the shipowner and the seafarer.1

Seafarers and shipowners do not, therefore, benefit from the growing range of higher technical education courses to the same extent as do other occupations and industries. Furthermore, the nature of their occupation precludes seafarers from enjoying easy access to general education or cultural facilities in their leisure time; e.g., attendance at a series of regular evening courses extending throughout the year.

Possibly the major disadvantage of the present system, however, is that the marine qualifications are not recognised within the education system, and seafarers are thus forced to start from scratch if they wish to further their qualifications or retrain for other jobs.

There are some people who would question the need for qualifications to have any acceptance beyond that for a particular vocation. The difficulty in applying this to, for example, the deck officer, is that a large part of his ‘training’ is—or should—be ‘technical education’. Yet his highest level of qualification—which is accorded ordinary level degree status in the United Kingdom—is not generally accepted in Australia even for matriculation or entry to tertiary level courses.

3.2.2 Education and Training A need for a short induction course for all seafarers: More than for almost any other industry, entrants to the sea service are subjected to a very marked change of environment from that to which they have previously been accustomed. Such a change warrants some preparation. It need only be a short course of some three or four weeks covering such matters as: the general structure of the shipping industry; the organisation of a ships company; shipboard familiarisation; personal and ship safety; and health and hygiene.

There would seem to be a good case for introducing counselling services, together with intelligence and aptitude tests, as a guide to career paths and further training; and to help eliminate those who are unsuited by temperament to life at sea.

Apart from the pre-sea course at Newcastle (see para. and the courses followed by the National Line cadets (see para. which include some of the above items, there is no pre-sea training or preparation for entrants to the industry:

1 An explanation of the development is given in para. 1.1.


this includes all the stewards and cooks, the vast majority of engineers and over half of the deck cadets. The present deck apprenticeship pattern is outdated: An apprenticeship used to be regarded as essentially a period in which experience taught boys to be good practical seamen.

In major maritime countries this has now given way to planned formal training courses and in-service training with guided study. A common pattern is for the first year of the sea service, or in-service training, to be spent on deck duties and the remainder on bridge work: culminating in the understudy of a deck officer. Specific

aspects of marine education and training in France and Japan are referred to in para.

In the U.K., phased training schemes involving pre-sea and mid-apprenticeship release courses were introduced in the early 1960s. These have now been replaced by a more comprehensive scheme leading to a combined national diploma in nautical science and a certificate of competency.

Australian training appears to have lagged in this respect. Most Australian deck cadets or apprentices still learn ‘by doing’.

The present ‘in-service’ training is described in para. Cadets, or apprentices, are required to keep a record of the tasks and duties they "have performed on board ship. But the whole system requires updating: for example, the Record Book used in most cases is an old British Merchant Navy Training Board Book, which has been superseded a number of years ago. Continued reliance on trade apprenticeship as a source o f recruitment for marine engineers may be unwise: The sources of recruitment and subsequent training patterns for marine engineers were described in para. 1.3.2. Whilst the trend appears to be away from the traditional pattern of a four-year apprenticeship in a heavy

engineering industry, followed by a preparatory course for part A of the second class certificate, it still represents the major source of recruitment in Australia.

There are two major factors which have an important bearing on the recruitment and training of marine engineers. These are: the increasing amount of sophisticated machinery requiring some knowledge of electronics instrumentation and control engineering; and the changing school-leaving patterns.

If the maritime industry wants to ensure a supply of able entrants—for senior positions both afloat and ashore—then it needs to take account of the changes that are taking place in school-leaving patterns and increase the proportion of entrants who have completed a full secondary education. It is important to note that this is not so much

a case of raising entry standards, as keeping pace with a changing situation and maintaining entry standards—in competition with other industries.

The reductions currently being made to the frequency of the examinations in order to encourage candidates to follow technician courses is a step forward in that it recognises the need for something more than the certificate preparatory courses. But the engineer- trainees who attend these courses are also following a normal apprenticeship and take

the courses by ‘day release’ and evening study; and the mature students are limited by


the study leave provisions1 to periods similar in length to the previous certificate preparatory courses. A much more preferable method is the cadet-engineer scheme operated by the National Line (see para., involving full-time college study, which is more appropriate for the level of work undertaken.

3 .2 .2 .4 Radio officer training is inadequate: The training of radio officers was described in para. 1.3.3. Radio officer training—like that for deck officer—is limited to preparation for the certificates of competency. Again, like the nautical courses, the radio courses were closely based on the British system. In recent years, however, the

British courses have developed to include, in addition to the statutory certificate work, radar maintenance and electronics. In Australia, however, these developments have not taken place—mainly because they are beyond the resources of the private (A.W.A.) school that offers the only training in the country.

The P.R.E.I. take the view that there is a need for additional training of the type available in the United Kingdom. In general terms this involves a full-time course of 3 or 6 months on marine electronics and a 3-month radar maintenance course. For new entrants, a common approach is for a college to offer a course extending over seven college terms (i.e. 2j- academic years) and covering the work for the radio­ communication operators general certificate, the radar maintenance certificate, and an accredited City and Guilds telecommunication technician certificate.

The A.W.A. ‘Marconi’ school at Sydney has made the point that it is already incurring a financial loss (of the order of $40,000 per year) and the A.W.A. board is unwilling to continue operating with this deficit. Whilst they agree that marine electronics courses are necessary they are not in a position to provide them without substantial financial assistance.

It is understood that the shipowners, collectively have agreed to subsidise the ‘Marconi’ school to the extent of some $15,000 per year—on the understanding that it is a temporary measure: pending an investigation into the question of where radio officer training should be carried out.

3 .2 .2 .5 There is no systematic training for seamen, cooks and catering personnel: The pre-sea training courses, at Newcastle, for deck boys and engine-room juniors were decribed in para. There are some, however, who take the view that whilst this provides some much needed introductory training for a portion of the industry, it does not go far enough. It is said that it does not have the facilities to

offer enough practical training—even in safety work such as boatwork and liferaft drills—and it does not begin to compare with the courses available to seamen in overseas maritime countries. Although the scheme has been in existence since 1967, it has not led to the develop­ ment of courses for senior ratings. There are no similar courses for entrants to the

stewards’ and cooks’ grades and there are no courses of any kind for senior ratings. Even for junior entrants the existing courses are not being fully utilised. In 1973, for example, out of a total of 42 deck boy entrants to the industry only 11 came from the pre-sea course at Newcastle.

1 Under the provisions of an industrial award, engineers get 10 weeks’ paid study leave for each of the first and second class certificates, and 6 weeks for a ‘steam’ or ‘motor’ endorsement on the first class certificate.


There is no requirement in Australia for ratings, in any ship-board department, to hold certificates of competency and this has undoubtedly been a contributory factor in the general lack of provision by the industry.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) adopted two International Conventions in 1946 (nos. 69 and 74) requiring training, examination and certification of ships’ cooks and able seamen, respectively. In the United Kingdom, legislation for the certification of ships’ cooks was provided for in the Merchant Shipping (MS) Act of

1906, and for able seamen in the MS Act of 1948 (although in the latter case it was not fully implemented until 1952).

Australia has neither complied with the requirements of the ILO Conventions nor followed the U.K. practice of requiring certificated cooks and able seamen—although British practice has been followed closely in the competency certificate requirements for masters, mates, engineers and radio officers. The question of implementing these requirements has been discussed with the industry from time to time. The fact that nothing has eventuated is generally ascribed to the lack of suitable training and

examining facilities; and the unwillingness of any party to accept any financial responsibility for new facilities.

There is also a need for courses to retrain existing ratings to handle new types of equipment and safety appliances. The Seamen’s Union considers this to be a prime requirement—ahead of courses for new entrants. -A further deficiency is the lack of opportunities for ratings to move upwards through the ranks to deck and engineer officer positions. The requirement for engineers to have served a trade apprenticeship precludes engine-room ratings from advancement to engineer. Deck ratings can, on the other hand, sit for a ‘second mate’ certificate upon completion of four years’ approved sea service. But the practical difficulties of studying at sea without the help of a special training course is so great that very few make the grade (see para. Additionally, there is a need for additional job categories, such as senior rating/petty officer grades, to fill the existing gap between the seamen and officer levels.

3.2 .2 .6 Present teaching and training facilities are inadequate: The inadequacies of the present training courses for radio officers were referred to in para.

So far as deck and engineer officers are concerned, facilities for up-to-date training in safety and operational techniques are virtually non-existent in Australia. (Particular areas are identified in para. The need for new courses and equipment for such items as firefighting and fire

prevention, training on a radar simulator etc., has been discussed between the Depart­ ment of Transport, the industry and the colleges over the years. As with the case of the ratings’ courses referred to in para., the present schools do not have access to funds of the requisite order—and discussions have invariably foundered

on the question of costs. The colleges are faced with a problem in the recruitment of specialist teachers of marine subjects, similar to that faced by the Department of Transport for examiners. There are no courses in Australia for nautical science or marine engineering degrees

(or for the extra master and extra first class engineer certificates), and recruitment of


teachers and examiners is therefore limited to overseas sources. The colleges’ problem is compounded by the difficulty of retaining highly qualified staff on salaries associated with those for teachers of trade level courses. In the navigation schools, for example, the head teachers have been there since the schools opened but all the other teachers have been recruited within the last four years. These teachers are generally well qualified (with an ‘extra master’ certificate or a degree in nautical science) although relatively inexperienced. Generally they are recruited directly from the United Kingdom shortly after obtaining their qualifications.

It would be unfair to criticise the work of these teachers who are generally labouring under difficult conditions. The poor results at the certificate examinations (see para. indicate that the teachers are under pressure to get the students through the examination syllabuses in the short time they attend the college. There is little time, therefore, for inculcating a proper knowledge of the subject matter; and the teachers are unable, in the limited time available, to do much more than provide the students with the answers to the frequently repeated questions set by the Department of Transport examiners.

Although the shipowners are in favour of continuing with the existing establishments rather than rationalising the resources into one centre, they do allow that all is not well with the present system. For example, in response to a question, put by P.A. Management Consultants,1 on the quality/adequacy of the present facilities, the ship­ owner representatives stated that ‘The teaching staff at some Navigation Schools is inadequate’.

A major difficulty faced by teachers (and examiners) in Australia is that the small scale of operations prevents specialisation by staff in a particular area of their subject. In the British and Continental countries such specialisation was found necessary 15 to 20 years ago. But Australian teachers and examiners are expected to keep abreast of developments in a whole range of subjects such as navigation, seamanship, naval

architecture, engineering, electricity, electronics, meteorology, cargo work, ship maintenance, shipmasters business and legal knowledge etc. That there is a need for a deeper understanding of such subjects as stability, navigation, and the use of radar has been illustrated by evidence given at recent Courts of Marine Inquiry, and by the introduction of the new phrase ‘radar assisted collision’ into the maritime glossary.

It is apparent that the levels of courses and ranges of facilities which are available to seafarers in overseas maritime countries (see para. will not develop out of the present training courses. It is questionable also whether there is any need for two separate groups of similarly qualified staff: one for teaching and the other for examining—in a situation where the recruitment of such staff presents difficulties. A need for updating, refresher, and retraining courses: The trend to more sophisticated and highly specialised ships was identified in Section 2. The rate of change of modes of operation, practices, equipments etc. has increased rapidly in recent years; and the equipment in a modern navigation bridge and engine-room bears little resemblance to that of 20 or 30 years ago. Yet there are masters and chief engineers

1 Feasibility Study in Regard to National Maritime Training School—P.A. Management Con­ sultants, p. 152.


at sea today who have not attended any updating or refresher courses during that time.

The reason for this is two-fold:

the traditional (British) system of competency certification does not require revalidation of the certificates: even though a man has been ashore for 30 years since gaining his qualification; and

shipowners, in general, have not required any formal training beyond that necessary for the certificates of competency.

The only exceptions to this latter statement are:

an eight-week full-time course on automatic control systems for marine engineers: offered by Sydney Technical College. The course is in two parts and during 1973 33 students followed Part 1, and 13 students took Part 2.

a twelve-week full-time course (in two stages of 6 weeks each) on marine electronics for senior marine engineers and electricians: operated by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, for the Australian National Line. About 10 students

per year follow this course.

For senior deck officers, a one-week course on radar was offered by Sydney Technical College up to this year. During 1972 approximately 60 students took the course, but there were only 10 in 1973. Due to a shortage of staff no courses are programmed for the current year.

A stage has now been reached where the traditional examination system fails to cover not only the full ‘operational’ requirements but also certain of the ‘safety’ requirements. The particular items of safety training in which the Australian system is deficient are detailed in para.

In the United Kingdom the certificate of competency requirements are supplemented by a range of courses offered by the various colleges and universities engaged in marine work. The general co-ordination of training is carried out by the Merchant Navy Training Board: a body representative of the industry, colleges, Government

Departments, etc. with an interest in marine training. The following list does not include courses leading to any part of the certificates of competency. It, therefore, indicates the types of training which the Training Board considers to be necessary in addition to the present statutory certificate requirements.

Marine Electronics (General): Instrumentation and Control Engineering Electronics (Special Techniques); Transistors/Semi Conductors

Closed Circuit T.V. Echo Sounders VHF/FM Facsimile equipment maintenance

Single Sideband Techniques Logic—digital/analogue Sound Reproducing equipment


Radar (Technical Maintenance): True Motion Radar Fundamentals Transistorised Radar

Radar (Operational): Advanced Simulator

Welding: Electrical—C.G.L.I. Electrical Technicians Certificate

Navigation: Weather Routeing Science and Technology of Navigation Marine Traffic Control Modern Electronic Navigational Aids

Cargo Work, Safety, etc.: Loading and operating problems in bulk carriers Chemical Tanker Safety Gas carrier safety Petroleum tanker safety Safety of ships and personnel Safety in cargo handling Carriage of liquid chemicals in bulk Accident Prevention

Management: Work study and personnel management Progressive Management—■ Stage I Personnel Relations

Stage II Management Techniques Diploma in Management Studies

Catering: Chief Steward’s Course Home Trade Cooks Course

Miscellaneous: Development courses for senior officers New developments in shipboard techniques Gyro Compass Course Induction for new entrant Engineer Officer Cost, Stock and Budgeting Control Retirement from the Sea Course

Whereas the British approach has been to bolster the narrow coverage of the certificate courses by adding these special courses as appendages to the system, the Continental countries (France in particular) have tended to provide more comprehensive training in the (longer) basic courses. This latter approach has the benefit of providing a better grounding in the basic principles of the mathematical and physical sciences—upon which the specialist and updating work can be superimposed by way of short updating


courses. It is also more in line with the practices adopted by other professions and industries. In this sense it is appropriate to note that the Continental countries have a tradition of longer courses of formal training and technical education than those countries (including Australia) which have followed the British patterns of training. A need for a national body to foster and co-ordinate training programmes for operators o f small craft around the coast: The relatively small numbers of masters, mates and engineers who study for qualifications applicable to interstate and overseas

ships (see Table 1) supports an argument for centralisation of the existing facilities. Radio officer training and the pre-sea courses for ratings are already centralised.

Notwithstanding the case for central training for deck, engineer and radio officers for the larger ships, there will be a continuing need for localised training provisions for the operation of intrastate ships, for inshore fishermen and, indeed, for pleasure craft operators and owners.

There is little in the way of organised training available to the small ship man at present.

For commercial fishermen there is a pre-sea course of one-year’s duration at Fremantle Technical College. Apart from this there is a total lack of formal training for this important and rapidly developing industry.

The Department of Primary Industry has expressed concern that not only is there a lack of training facilities for the fishing industry but there is no national structure of certificates of competency and thus no way of regulating the qualifications of those engaged in the industry. The need for proper training for commercial fishermen is dealt with in some detail in Section 4.

For the owners of crews of small ships and boats—whether privately or commercially operated—evening class courses in navigation are offered by the navigation schools at Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. Although there are also a number of courses operated by private individuals and by yacht clubs at the major centres, there is little or nothing available at most of the smaller ports. Furthermore, there is no co­ ordination of the existing training courses on a national basis, and no nationally

recognised qualifications.

In paras. and 5.1.3 some of the main features of a proposed new structure of certificates of competency for masters and mates are outlined. The ‘small ship’ end of the scale, if implemented by the State marine authorities, would provide a uniform structure of certificates of competency throughout the country. The proposal1 includes

syllabuses for ‘master’, ‘coxswain’ and ‘boatman’ certificates for small commercial vessels and fishing boats.

These certificates could well also provide the basis of national qualifications for pleasure craft owners operating beyond the limits of sheltered waters. F u rth e rm o re , there would be a decided advantage in having a similar degree of uniformity in the local training courses. A national maritime training body or council, although primarily serving the needs of interstate and overseas shipping, could perform a

1 ‘Proposed Certificate Structure and Syllabuses for Masters and Deck Officers in the Australian Merchant Navy’—Department of Transport. See also Table 20.


valuable function as a co-ordinating and guiding body for local training units around the country.

3.2.3 Examinations and qualifications The examination— and consequently the preparatory courses—do not provide adequately for operational and safety training: The inability of the certificate examina­ tion system to cope with management and economic studies was discussed in para. 3.1.1, where it was suggested that properly structured educational courses are necessary to inculcate into ships’ officers an understanding of personnel management, cost consciousness and efficiency.

But the present examinations and preparatory courses do not even provide adequately for the basic ‘safety’ training which is standard practice in overseas maritime countries and the subject of recommendations by the United Nations agencies IMCO and ILO. Particular deficiencies, in relation to international standards, are:

no radar simulator course;

no radar maintenance course;

no fire prevention and firefighting courses;

no specialist courses in tanker safety, and the carriage of hazardous and noxious chemical cargoes, and liquified gases;

no courses in damage control work.

These courses apply particularly to deck officers, but many of them are equally applicable to other officers, and also to ratings. The need for an induction course covering the elements of personal and ship safety—for all entrants to the industry— was stressed in para. It is perhaps pertinent to note here that the vast majority of engineer officer entrants to the industry are expected to assume immediate responsibility as a ship’s officer without any ship familiarisation and safety training.

The reason for the lack of training in these areas is simply that the appropriate facilities and equipment have not been forthcoming. This was discussed in para. 3 .2 .2 .6 as a training deficiency. But such training as exists is geared to the ‘question and answer’ requirements of the examination system; and it has perhaps been some­ what unrealistic to expect such a system to produce something for which it was never designed.

3.2 .3 .2 The present system o f certificate examinations is wasteful in terms o f efforts and resources: The grades of certificates of competency are listed in para. 1.2.4; and the mandatory periods of sea service required between the various grades are referred to in para. 1.2.5.

In the case of marine engineers,1 approximately 32 weeks is spent on each of the two preparatory courses for the second and first class certificates. Between the twzo certificates there is a requirement for some 21 months’ service at sea; and in terms of actual time elapsed between the courses this often means 3 years or more. Many of

1 That is, the majority of entrants who have not gained exemptions from part A of the certificate examinations by virtue of ‘cadet’ or ‘trainee’ schemes: see para.


the subjects—applied mechanics, thermodynamics, electrotechnology and naval architecture—are repeated for both certificates, and much of the time spent in the later course is taken up in revision of the earlier work.

For the deck officers the situation is even worse. The three examination syllabuses— for second mate, first mate, and master—represent a progressive pattern of work. But a total period of 3§ years actual sea service is required between the first (second mate) certificate and the final (master) certificate. It is, thus, quite normal for some six years

or more to have elapsed between a candidate taking a servicing subject such as mathematics at the ‘second mate’ level, and applying this knowledge to his later studies for the ‘master’ certificate. Such a break in the continuity of study is quite unsound from an educational point of view.

Such a study system, based as it is on the sea service requirements, leads to wasteful repetition of the subject matter. For example, practical navigation is covered in ‘second mate’, ‘first mate’ and ‘master’ examinations, and chartwork, naval archi­ tecture, meteorology, magnetism, and electricity are repeated at two levels. Despite this, however, the pass rates at the examinations are poor. The pass rates for 1973,

at the three centres where navigation schools are situated are shown in Table 18.

It might be misleading to make direct comparisons between the pass rates at these examinations and those associated with other industries or professions, because of the many differing factors that are involved. For example, college and university examina­ tions follow properly structured courses, whereas the nautical examinations follow

‘crash-type’ courses, indeed in some cases only parts of courses.

However, the progression through the stages:

second mate—first mate—master might have been expected to yield a similar pass rate progression to that for the consecutive stages, or years, of a college or university course. That this is not so, however, can be seen from the following figures which represent the only available

statistics, on a national basis for college or university courses.1

Whilst the pass rates vary for different faculties, and different universities, the average pass rates for all full-time students commencing Australian university courses in 1961 were as follows:

of the total number of full-time students who sat for the first year examination in 1961, 66% passed', and out of those who continued in the same university and faculty in 1962; 79 % passed the second year examination; 61% graduated in the minimum time, and 88%

eventually graduated.

However, the total pass rates at the deck officers’ examinations during 1973 (i.e. the combined figures for the three centres) were:

47 % at the ‘second mate’ examination; 53 % at the ‘first mate’ examination; and 46 % at the ‘master’ examination.

* The only statistics available on a national basis: ‘The 1961 Study’, Australian Government Publishing Service, C a n b e r r a 1971.


TABLE 18 PERFORMANCE AT THE WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS, MASTERS AND MATES (F.G.) AT SYDNEY, MELBOURNE AND NEWCASTLE, 1973 N o te: There are two written parts for each grade which must normally be passed within six months of each other; these figures show the number of attempts at each part and not the number of individual candidates.

Associated with these low pass rates is a high rate of retardation at the certificate examinations. The figures in Table 19 illustrate the number of attempts taken by successful candidates for the masters and mates, foreign-going, examinations in the years 1970-71 and 1971-72.


N u m b e r o f

a tte m p ts

M a ste r F irst M a te S e c o n d M a te

70-71 71-72 70-71 71-72 70-71 71-72

1 13 13 9 15 5 6

2 12 10 17 17 5 10

3 6 5 10 8 8 4

4 1 4 4 5 2 4

5 2 2 1 1 1 2

6 2 2 1 — 1 1

7th and over - 5 3 - 2 2

Total Passes 36 41 45 46 24 29

Source: Department of Transport

Many candidates obviously attempt the examination before they are ready to do so. Occasionally candidates gain certificates after 12 or more attempts and, whilst un­ doubtedly something must ‘rub-off’ at each attempt, the principle of allowing un­ limited numbers of attempts must be questioned.

For the majority of Australian deck officers, formal training is limited to the certificate preparatory courses which extend over 16/17 weeks, for each of the three certificates. When the new syllabuses1 are introduced, to bring the Australian certificate into line with those in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore—

countries with which we have a system of mutual recognition of certificates—the pass rates can be expected to deteriorate further, unless longer preparatory courses are introduced. In this regard, the introduction of the new syllabuses in the U.K. has resulted in the preparatory courses for the first mate and master certificates being

extended to 26 weeks each.

In this latter respect it is worth noting that the main reason for the longer (and, thus, more expensive) courses—coming as they do at a stage when an officer is in the mid-20 age group—is the increasing amount of theoretical knowledge required. It is pertinent, therefore, to question the policy of continuing to follow the traditional British system,

and to consider the benefits which might derive (financially as well as educationally) from bringing the theoretical part of the work back into the early years of the cadet­ ship.

Not only is this the standard practice in most other industries and professions—where a basic knowledge of the discipline is gained in an undergraduate course, upon which specialist techniques and updating training can be superimposed in later short courses —but it is also the pattern in many maritime countries. In the U.S.A., for example, the

1 ‘Proposed certificate structure and syllabuses for Masters and Deck Officers in the Australian Merchant Navy.’


five maritime academies provide full undergraduate courses leading simultaneously to a B.Sc. degree and either a ‘third mate’ or ‘third assistant engineer’ licence. Many of the European countries, and also Japan, operate similar systems; and, indeed, ships’ officers of most maritime nations are required to follow much longer and more comprehensive courses than are available for Australian officers.

In France, for example, entrants to the courses for the highest level of ‘master’ certificate must have passed the matriculation (baccalaureate) examination, and also a competitive entrance examination at secondary school advanced level in mathe­ matics. They then spend three years at college—with sea service during the long vacations—and after a further twenty months’ sea service, complete an additional full year at college. The subjects studied during the four college years are listed below:

Year I: Mathematics, Mechanics, Electricity, Astronomy, Navigation, Thermo­ dynamics, English, Law, Maritime Practices, Signals, etc., Drawing, Workshop Practice and Engineering.

Year II: Mechanics and Properties of Materials, Electricity, Radio-electricity, Engineering, English, Navigation, Maritime Legislation, Ship Construction, Drawing and Planning.

Year III: Electricity, Radio-electricity, Electronics, Engines, English, Ship Theory, Navigation, Manoeuvres and Safety, Commercial Law, Utilisation of ships, Automatic controls, Meteorology.

Year IV: As for Year III, plus: Accidents, Elements of Political Economy, Nuclear Energy, Hygiene.

In 1967, the total periods of college training required to gain a certificate as ship’s ‘master’ or ‘chief engineer’ respectively, in a number of other countries were as follows1: Master Chief Engineer

Belgium 4 years If years

Germany not available 3 years

Italy 5 years 5 years

Japan 5§ years 5 years

Norway 2 \ years 2 years

Spain 3 years 3 years

Sweden 3 years 3 years

U.S.A. 3 years 3 years

U.S.S.R. 5 years 5 years

Note: There have been substantial changes in many countries since 1967, and some of the above figures would certainly represent an understatement of the present position.

The ten to twelve deck cadets engaged each year by the Australian National Line attend college courses during their cadetship, in addition to the certificate preparatory courses (see para. At the present time, their aggregate college time amounts to some 84 weeks; and, if the first mate and masters courses are increased to 26 weeks each in

1 Monographs of Seafarers ‘Vocational Training Programmes in Various Countries’—International Labour Office, 1967.


length (as they are in the U.K.) when the syllabuses are updated, the aggregate period could be extended to approximately 100 weeks of full-time study.

However, with the present certificate structure, most of the work is geared directly to the certificate syllabuses—and much of it is repetitive. It is suggested, therefore, that the three years full-time study could be more profitably spent if it took the form of a comprehensive course of training, similar to the French scheme referred to previously.

Furthermore, the present deck cadet entrants to the Australian industry are eminently suited to this type of course—having completed a full secondary education, and for the most part, holding matriculation level qualifications. Such a course could readily be fitted into the technical education system of the country and lead to accredited educational qualifications in addition to the certificates of competency. It would also be comparable with the type of courses available to their contemporary school leavers who enter other professions and industries. The Department of Transport examiners have indicated1 that the certificate requirements could be tailored to this

mode of training. Furthermore, the Australian National Line engineer-cadets already follow a training programme of this type; and it has already been suggested (para, that this type of training should become the normal path of entry for marine engineers. The Certificate o f Competency structure needs to be more appropriate to Australian conditions and requirements: The examination syllabuses have been amended from time to time over the years, but the existing certificate structure was introduced many years ago. This was referred to in para. 1.1.

The introduction of new courses of the type referred to in the previous paragraph would undoubtedly provide a solution to the central problems of lack of systematic training and lack of practical training equipment. But there are a number of other factors pertaining to the certificates of competency which require attention.

These factors arise, primarily, because the underlying principles on which both Federal and State marine legislation (including the certificate requirements) are based were adopted directly from the British Merchant Shipping Acts. The Merchant Shipping Acts are designed, in the main, for a foreign-going merchant fleet but the Australian fleet has been, and still is, predominantly a coastal fleet. Not only is the

British system of certificates not suitable for Australian conditions but the minor amendments that have been made have generally led to anomalies; and also to different systems (for intrastate vessels) in each of the States.

The Department of Transport has indicated that a proposal for a new structure of certificates for masters, mates and engineers is being developed. There are two major objectives incorporated in the proposal. One is to upgrade the syllabuses and require­ ments in line with recent amendments in overseas countries1 2 and recommendations from the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO). The other is to design a structure of certificates which is appropriate to Australian conditions and requirements. ________

1 Proposed Certificate Structure and Syllabuses for Masters and Deck Officers in the Australian Merchant Navy. 2 See also para. 3.1.1.


The proposals for new deck officer certificates are detailed—together with the syllabuses for each grade of certificate—in the consultative document ‘Proposed Certificate Structures and Syllabuses for Masters and Deck Officers in the Australian Merchant Navy’. The Department of Transport proposals were taken into account in the development of this Report. It is pertinent therefore to refer briefly to the major features of the proposals:

Uniformity throughout the country: the proposed new certificates and examina­ tion requirements, for intrastate ships have been developed in collaboration with representatives of the State marine authorities. Thus a seafarer’s qualification, gained in one State will also be acceptable in any other State.

Flexibility: a commonly criticised feature of the present certificate examinations is the time taken to update the syllabuses—which are detailed in statutory regula­ tions. It is proposed to establish a common Code, the detail of which can be readily updated. This approach will allow for a maximum amount of uniformity whilst, at the same time, providing the necessary flexibility to cater for the differing local conditions—and also for changes with time. Furthermore, it is suggested that, for optimum advantage, the detailed requirements should be confined to the Code, and implemented under the authority of broad ‘enabling’ legislation.

Introduction o f ship ‘size’ as a parameter: at the present time ‘trading area’ is the only parameter for certificates—based on the U.K. system. This means, for example, that ships or boats of as little as 15 tons, net, require a master with a foreign-going certificate for the shortest overseas voyage. Conversely, there are ships of over 100,000 tons d.w. on regular Australian coastal voyages which only require a master with a coastal certificate (although no shipowner would consider

anything less than a ‘foreign-going’ master for command of such a ship: and thus commercial requirements have moved ahead of the statutory requirements).

The introduction of the ‘ship size’ (in this case, by length) parameter will provide a separate qualification for the small ship man. Arbitrary divisions of length and trading areas invariably create some difficulties but are still considered to be necessary at present. No lesser appreciation of safety at sea is required by small- ship men than by those manning large vessels. But a different and more practical approach to their training and examinations is needed because of the different type of man involved: for example, the ‘working skipper’ with a background of less formal education than the candidate for a ‘foreign-going’ certificate.

Specialist operations: primarily because of the very great increase in the types of noxious and hazardous cargoes, and the introduction of specialist bulk carriers for chemicals and liquified gases, it is proposed to superimpose an endorsement requirement upon the basic certificate. This would involve a short period of specialist training, and is in line with IMCO recommendations.

Recognition o f overseas qualifications: at the present time, under Section 22 of the Navigation Act, any certificate which is recognised in the United Kingdom is automatically valid in Australia. It is now proposed that candidates from any overseas country should have their qualifications assessed—and be further examined only in areas where it is necessary to bring their qualifications into line with Australian requirements.


Certificates o f Service: the conditions for issues of these certificates to naval officers were specified in para. 1.2.7. It is now proposed to discontinue this practice, give naval personnel credit for relevant service and qualifications, and then require them to make good any remaining requirements for the certificate of competency.

Career structures and mobility within the industry: the proposed structure takes account of the need for both lateral and vertical mobility within the industry; and also between the shipping and fishing industries. In this latter regard, the subjects which are common to. both the merchant navy and fishing fleet form a common

core for both groups of certificates: only the additional subjects need be taken by a seafarer changing from one industry to the other.

The proposal for new engineer certificates has been developed only for the intrastate ships at this stage. It also incorporates the above features of: uniformity, flexibility, and ‘ship length’ as a parameter.

The following table shows the full range of certificates and also their proposed application, by ‘ship size’ and ‘operating area’.



O perating area

S h ip length

to 10 metres

to 20 metres

20-35 metres

35-80 metres

Inshore O ffshore

1 x Boatman Certificate 1 x Coxswain

1 x Master Class 4 Certificate (any additional watchkeeper to hold Coxswain Certificate)

R e s tr ic te d A u stra lia n a n d inter-island

1 x Master Class 4 Certificate and 1 X Coxswain Certificate (any additional watchkeeper to hold Coxswain Certificate)

U n restricted A u stra lia n an d ocean-going

1 x Master Class 3 Certificate 1 x Master Class 4 Certificate (any additional watchkeeper to hold Coxswain Certificate)

2 x Master Class 3 Certificates (any additional watchkeepers to hold Master Class 4 Certificate) 2 x Master Class 2 and 1 x Master Class 3 Certificate (additional watch-

keepers to hold Master Class 3 Certificates)

80 metres and over 2 x Master Class 1 (or 1 x Class 1 and 1 x Class 2) and 2 x Deck watch keepers’ Certificates (any additional watchkeeper to hold Master Class 3 Certificate)

N ote: It is stressed that these are only proposals at this stage, and some adjustment is still required to the ‘length’ and ‘area’ parameters to achieve maximum uniformity between the ‘deck and engineer’ categories.

N ote: It is stressed that these are only proposals at this stage, and some adjustment is still required to the ‘length’ and ‘area’ parameters to achieve maximum uniformity between the ‘deck and engineer’ categories.



A lack of training and qualifications

for the

fishing industry

·. : -


4.1.1 Present position:

The only formal educational establishment in Australia at which fishermen receive training is the Fremantle Technical College which conducts an annual course. The course is limited to Western Australian residents and is financed by funds made available from the Fishing Industry Research Trust Account and the Western Australian

Fisheries Research and Development Fund. The funds provide scholarships to a hnuted number of Western Australians each year; the number in 1974 is expected to

There is no national system of certification of fishermen. Following varying terms of sea service and experience in the fishing industry, fishermen are able to apply to some State authorities for certification as to their capacity to command fishing vessels. The standards are not uniform between the various authorities and the certificates granted have limited validity. They certainly do not qualify fishermen to command large ocean ranging vessels such as are being introduced into the fishing industry at the present time.

A further indication of the need for better training of fishermen is found in the fishing vessel casualties which occur each year. Accurate statistics are difficult to obtain but those that are available are indicative of the high cost factor involved, not only to the individual but also to the various Government bodies that are responsible for search and rescue operations. In 1970, for example, there were fourteen fishing vessels lost off the Queensland coast alone.

The Department of Primary Industry conducted a survey of fishermen holding Commonwealth fishing boat licences in 1972, when 2,720 questionnaires were sent to all owners of fewer than three fishing vessels. Replies were received from 1,708 (62.7%), which showed 123 fishing vessels were lost between 1 January 1950 and 30 June 1972. If it is assumed losses to owners who did not respond were of similar order, then losses over the period would have been approximately 200 vessels. Table 21 shows the 123 losses by boat size and State of operation.

TABLE 21 FISHING VESSELS TOTAL LOSSES, SAMPLE SURVEY: 1950-1972* {January 1950 to Ju n e 1972) B o a t L e n g th in F ee t

S ta te /T e rrito ry U nder 20 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60 a n d over T o ta l

New South Wales 0 3 3 5 5 0 16

Victoria 0 1 3 2 0 1 7

Queensland 1 4 4 9 6 4 28

South Australia 1 4 6 0 1 1 13

Western Australia 1 14 24 7 1 2 49

Tasmania 0 0 1 3 5 1 10

Northern Territory 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Total 3 26 41 26 18 9 123

Source: Department of Primary Industry * Note: T h e fig u res o n ly in c lu d e fis h e rm e n h o ld in g licenses in 1972; e x clu d ed w ill b e: (i) a n y o n e w h o h a d w ith d ra w n fro m th e in d u s try , p e rh a p s as a re s u lt o f to tal loss;

(ii) a n y o n e w h o h a d d ie d , a g a in p e rh a p s as a re s u lt o f to ta l loss.

T h e s e fig u res a re o n ly a n in d ic a tio n of th e d is trib u tio n o f a c c id e n t b y sizes and S tates.


Table 22, below, sets out fishing boat casualties in 1973 reported to the Marine Operation Centre, Canberra. These figures do not include fishing vessel casualties reported to other authorities, which may not have been reported to the Marine Operation Centre. Figures from these other sources are not readily available.

The 29 cases of breakdowns seem to indicate inadequate maintenance, possibly caused by lack of experienced personnel.

It is known that three each of the ‘sinking’ and ‘leaking’ categories were directly attributable to prior groundings. Thus, in conjunction with Item 6, twenty-one vessels (or 28 % of the total casualties) were involved in groundings, indicating a lack of basic navigational knowledge.

Item 5 indicates possible communication difficulties which could be due to in­ experience or faulty equipment, or both.


N u m b e rs

Ite m C a teg o ry involved %

1. Breakdown/tow required 29 38.24

2. Sinkings 6 7.88

3. Leaking 12 15.78

4. Lost (unable to fix position) 1 1.30

5. Overdue 12 15.78

6. Aground 15 19.73

7. Fire 1 1.30

Total 76 100.00

Source: Department of Transport

Until comparatively recently the Australian fishing industry has been catered for, in the main, by small vessels, owner-operated and fishing limited areas generally close offshore. Within the last two years this picture has been changing rapidly and numbers of much larger vessels are being introduced. Some of these are in excess of 200 tons, and are capable of ranging over long ocean distances. For instance, some of these vessels fish grounds off South Australia in one season of the year for tuna species and fish in the Gulf of Carpentaria for prawns at another season of the year. In addition, the catching of ocean ranging pelagic species of fish is now being undertaken and a rapid expansion in this field is under way. Another growth area is the deep water trawling for demersal species. Apart from the size of the vessels, their sophistication (in terms of electronic equipment, refrigeration, hydraulics and other machinery) the complexity of the fishing operations (purse seining, mid-water trawling and pair trawling), is much greater than was the case in the older established fisheries which have been the backbone of the Australian fishing industry for so many years.

Table 23, below, sets out as at 30 June 1972, the composition of the total Australian fishing fleet. Table 24 indicates the number of ocean going fishing vessels, i.e. licensed to fish beyond the 3 mile territorial limit, at 31 December 1973. Table 25 shows the number of large ocean going vessels, i.e. over 200 tons, operating at

30 June 1973 and anticipated to commence operations during the next 5 years.



L e n g th o f boat ( fe e t) N .S .W . V IC . Q L D S .A . W .A . T A S . N .T . A U S T I

Under 20 2,197 258 736 513 108 45 3,857

20 and under 30 461 249 382 521 109 9 1,731

30 and under 40 153 152 173 273 138 8 997

40 and under 50 155 96 242 104 152 7 756

50 and under 60 81 44 124 64 60 13 386

60 and under 70 - 21 6 40 27 13 9 116

70 and under 85 5 3 16 5 3 15 47

85 and under 100 4 - 3 16 23

100 and over - 12 1 5 8 26

Total 3,·077 808 1,828 1,652 1,508 588 130 9,591

Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics 1 Incomplete: South Australian figures not available.


S ta te N o .

New South Wales 651

Victoria 140

Queensland 1,096

Western Australia 1,095

South Australia 564

Tasmania 330

Northern Territory 22

Total 3,898

Source: Department of Primary Industry


Vessels at sea as at 30.6.73 Vessels under construction as at 8.11.73 Vessels in respect of which tenders have closed but no order yet placed as at 8.11.73

Vessels which are at present out to tender as at 8.11.73

Total envisaged by 1976

Source: Department of Transport

4 . 1 . 2 Manning requirements for modern fishing vessels:

The increasing size and sophistication of Australian fishing vessels and the new and complex techniques require highly skilled personnel. The skills required involve knowledge of electronics (sonar, radar, etc.), refrigeration engineering, food technology and fish biology. This points to a very different fishing master, fishing officer, engineer,

etc. from those required in the past.


4.1.3 Industry support for training:

Another factor to be taken into account in asking why there should be training for fishermen is the fact that the idea of a national maritime training school has been welcomed by the Australian Fishing Industry Council, the industry body representing the fishing industry as a whole, and by the Ministerial Council (the Australian Fisheries Council) and its Standing Committee (the Standing Committee on Fisheries).

There is an increasing concern by fishing companies that there should be highly trained personnel available to the industry. These are not only unavailable in Australia but no facilities exist whereby they can be trained to the standard required.

While the shortage is readily apparent in relation to large vessels at the present time, perusal of Table 25 will show that unless steps are taken almost immediately to start rectifying the position the shortage by 1976 could well be in the order of 5 times as great as it is now.


There is a real present need for fishermen to be able to obtain certificates of com­ petency now, and ultimately tertiary-level qualifications.

All persons manning fishing vessels should have had formal training leading to qualifications commensurate with the positions they occupy on the vessel. While the need is apparent now, it will become an imperative requirement in the foreseeable future. Apart from the growth and sophistication of the Australian fishing fleet, matters such as compliance with international conventions and maintaining Australian manning standards abreast of those of other leading fishing nations have to be kept in mind.

Some of the main features of a new structure of certificates of competency, which is being developed jointly by representatives of the Department of Transport, Primary Industry and the State marine administrations, are referred to in paras. and 5.I.3.1 What is envisaged by these organisations is an integrated system whereby fishermen and merchant mariners would pursue identical courses of study in the general sea­ faring field. In short such subjects as navigation, chartwork, meteorology, general seamanship, shiphandling, ship-construction, would be studied by both to the same level. The courses would differ, however, in the specialised field; in that the seaman pursuing a course of studies for a ‘Trading’ certificate would study cargo handling, cargo stowage, requirements relating to dangerous cargoes, business principles applicable to shipowning and running, etc.

The candidate for a ‘Fishing’ certificate on the other hand would be instructed in fishing gear, fishing techniques, handling fish as a food, refrigeration of catches, general processing and preservation, fishing vessel and company business management. It is further envisaged by these organisations that the holder of a certificate, say Master Class III (Trading), could obtain his ‘Fishing’ endorsement by pursuing a course of study appropriate to the specialist part of the latter curriculum and vice versa. This would allow for desirable cross-fertilisation and allow greater career

1 See also Table 20 for the proposed application, by ship size and operating area.


opportunities in both branches of the maritime profession. Draft syllabuses, for both the ‘Trading’ and ‘Fishing’ certificates, are included in a consultative document: ‘Proposed Certificate Structures and Syllabuses for Master and Deck Officers in the

Australian Merchant Navy’. These ideas accord with the proposals put forward by this Commission for training courses, with some minor adjustment of terminology, as set out in Section 5 below and Part I above.

The Department of Primary Industry strongly supports the view expressed in this Report that the training of senior personnel for the increasing number of large (over 35 metres in length) sophisticated fishing vessels engaged in long-range operations should be carried out in the type of training establishment referred to in para. 5.2.1.

The Department also concurs with the view expressed in para. 5.2.1 that an ancillary function of such an establishment should be the fostering, co-ordinating and guiding of local training courses for the operation of the smaller, in-shore fishing vessels.





The training requirement


■ ·. ··

5 . 1 T Y P E O F T R A I N I N G R E Q U I R E D

5.1.1 General objectives:

If the workforce is to be less reliant upon overseas sources of recruitment, the training must be such as to encourage more able young Australians to enter, and to stay, in the industry. It is clear1 that for the majority of those joining the industry in recent years, a seafaring career is relatively short. Many will therefore be prepared to take

up the career only if the training they undergo has status in industry generally. Training courses should thus lead to accredited educational qualifications, and this should be a major factor'in the development of curricula.

Assuming that the above objectives ensure the recruitment and retention in the industry of a sufficiency of able boys, the next objective should be to see that they acquire a thorough understanding of the work involved in the efficient and safe operation of modern ships.

Thus the educational aspects (referred to above) of the curricula must be complemented by worthwhile practical marine training using up-to-date equipment such as simu­ lators, a training ship, and other small training craft. However, the detail of curricula and syllabuses content for the different categories should only be developed following the establishment of an advisory council and course development committee.

Whilst there is a diversity of both ships and work-roles on which seafarers are engaged, for the purpose of discussing training facilities it is perhaps appropriate to differentiate between two distinctive sectors, or parts, of the industry: that is, interstate and overseas shipping on the one hand, and intra-state shipping and pleasure craft on

the other.

This Report is concerned primarily with the training requirements for the interstate and overseas ships; but due to the inevitable interconnection between the courses and certificate structures of the two parts, intra-state shipping is also referred to.

The training requirements of these parts are discussed separately, in the following sub­ sections : i.e. 5.1.2 and 5.1.3.

5.1.2 Interstate and overseas shipping:

This is the part of the industry to which most of the data in this Report refers. It is the part for which there are in existence established certificates of competency and training of a sort. It is the part, therefore, for which the requirements can be more readily defined.

It is also the part of the industry with which the Australian Government is most directly involved. It is national, rather than local, and as such its training requirements are essentially different to those for localised intra-state ships and the inshore fishing fleet. Whereas, for example, there must be a strong argument1 2 for a national maritime

training college to serve the former sector of the industry, there must equally be a clear need for local training units throughout the country for the ‘small ship seafarer and pleasure craft owner or operator. However, whilst these two requirements are

1 See para. 2.2.3 and Tables 16 and 17. 2 See para. 2.3.1—Numbers for training.


different, there is an important role for a national college in relation to regional or local training programmes. This is referred to again in para. 5.1.3.

A general outline of the training requirements is given in the following paragraphs. Selection and induction: The need for an induction course and aptitude tests for entrants was referred to in para. There would be benefit also in arranging for entrants to take a short coastal voyage, at this stage, to introduce them to life at sea—before they undertake further studies.

The induction course, of some three or four weeks duration, should cover such items as: the general structure of the shipping industry; the organisation of a ship’s company; shipboard familiarisation; personal and ship safety; and health and hygiene. It should be mandatory for all entrants to the industry, irrespective of the shipboard-department to which they will be attached.

Numbers per year would be of the order of 200 assuming recruitment from overseas sources remains as it is at present. If overseas recruitment sources were to dry up, and wastage rates were to increase to the average value over the past nine years the total number per year could be in excess of 500.

5 .1 .2 .2 Ratings and senior ratings: The current lack of training and qualifications for ratings was referred to in para.

It is suggested that all entrants to the industry would benefit from courses which— like those proposed for officers—would be provided within the technical education system of the country. A suggested course structure is illustrated behind page 17 of the Report.

It would be advantageous also for entrants to undertake a short familiarisation voyage before embarking on the course, in order to ascertain whether or not they are tempera­ mentally suited to life at sea.

Thereafter, the trainees should follow a course of some six to nine months which, it is envisaged, could be offered by technical colleges in the various States. The marine content of the course is outlined below, under ‘rating level’, but it is emphasised that the course should be on an educational basis at this stage. It would, therefore, also include some academic subjects such as mathematics, physics and English (com­ munication, expression, etc.); and the technical subjects should be given a ‘broad’ treatment—with a large ‘common core’ of work for all junior ratings: deck, engine- room and catering. It is suggested also that much of this training could be common with that for entrants to the ‘C’ grade course for deck officers, and it should also include the safety/induction course referred to in para.

The technical content of the syllabus should cover such things as: the names and functions of the various parts of a ship; the use of lifesaving and firefighting appliances; handling of boats and liferafts; first-aid and accident prevention; hazardous and noxious cargoes—health and pollution hazards and prevention; seamanship: wires, ropes, use and maintenance of deck equipment and cargo gear; navigation: coastal navigation, chartwork and pilotage, use and upkeep of bridge equipment, lookout and steering duties, signalling;


the law and the merchant seaman: statutory requirements, industrial organisations and agreements; the conciliation and arbitration system;

types of propulsion, engine-room safety, ship services bilge and ballast suctions, boiler water and oil level glasses, pressure gauges, changing and cleaning of oil burners and filters under supervision, compression-ignition engine, basic fitting techniques, sawing, filing, chipping, tapping, hand screwing, etc.;

basic workshop and maintenance skills;

galley work: cleaning of galley, cooking utensils, stoves, ovens, cookers, etc.; preparation of raw materials for cooks; first steps in cooking; elementary baking; pantry-work, cabin duties, laying and waiting at table; stewards’ duties; laundry

and linen work; shipboard routine; upkeep of storerooms—dry, frozen, chilled, etc.

If a central maritime college were established, it would have the responsibility for providing guided study for ratings during ‘in-service’ training; and special bridging courses for aspirants to higher levels of work.

Assuming that the present pattern of recruitment remains constant, the number of Australian entrants to the interstate and overseas sector of the industry would be of the order of 70 per year. If the overseas sources of trained ratings dries up the number could rise to 190.1

Following a period of approximately one year at sea, -the trainee should return to college for some three or four weeks at the end of which time he should take an examina­ tion for an Able Seaman certificate and, if successful, would be eligible for appointment as Ordinary Seaman. Issue of the certificate and promotion to the rating of Able

Seaman would, however, depend upon a further period of satisfactory sea service.

A course should also be provided which would lead to a qualification as senior rating or petty officer, and it is considered that this should be offered in the central college only—at least in the first few years after its introduction.

An example of the type of syllabus envisaged for senior ratings in the deck department is given below:

supervisory duties: e.g., supervise mooring parties, fire-fighting party, lifeboat crew, maintenance work, preparations on the bridge for entering or leaving port;

storekeeping: keep records and assess future requirements; bridgework: keep bridge records, use or operate bridge equipment under direction of the officer of the watch; assist officer of the watch with navigation, radar plotting, signalling; radiotelephony; under supervision correct and amend navigational

publications; training: assist in the ‘in-service’ training programmes for ratings.

In addition to the technical content necessary for the type of duties indicated above, the syllabus should cover supervisory management training to improve the administrative and social competence of the senior rating/petty officer grades, e.g., leadership, discipline, industrial relations, human behaviour, motivation, communications, accident prevention, training and job instruction, work study appreciation. Wherever

1 The figures include crew attendants and stewards: see para. 2.3.1.


possible the requirements should be integrated with courses leading to nationally recognised trade and technician qualifications.

In the case of ship’s cooks and stewards, there is a need for special training which would best be obtained at an existing catering college. The general structure of the courses suggested for these grades is given below. In the case of cooks, this involves a normal apprenticeship; and for senior stewards and chief stewards would include special training at a catering college—following the common core part of the ratings course referred to previously, and also adequate experience at sea.

Cooks: The training programme should lead to a qualification as Ship’s Cook and at the same time permit those serving at sea to obtain trade qualifications.

The only feasible way for this to be effected is for trainees to be enrolled as apprentices to the trade and qualify by correspondence study and attendance at technical college under block-training arrangements (in a similar manner to country apprentices) for entry to the trade as a fully qualified tradesman cook.

The normal apprenticeship period would be three years. At the end of this period (which in this case should be part sea training and part shore based) the trainee who has passed the necessary examinations in theory and practice should be eligible for appoint­ ment as ship’s cook.

Further study (partly by correspondence and partly by formal shore-based training) leading to catering certificate courses of the type provided by the William Angliss Food Trades School in Melbourne, the East Sydney Technical College and other technical institutions would qualify a candidate for higher recognition within the trade.

The number of cooks entering the industry each year would vary between 10 and 25, depending on whether the number of overseas trained entrants remain constant or decline to zero.1

Stewards: Prospective stewards could take the general course for ratings referred to earlier, including the ‘common core’ work and the safety induction training. However, in the latter stages of the course, those trainees whose interest lies in general catering should be given special training appropriate to their work, and acceptable in the general catering trade. For this purpose, they could attend a catering college for part-time or full-time training. This could be complemented by correspondence work once they had taken up duties at sea, and by a short period ashore for further training. Upon satisfactory completion of this, and the necessary sea service, the trainee steward should qualify for a certificate and become eligible for promotion to First-Class Steward.

Further study should qualify for higher level qualifications in catering management and eligibility for Chief Steward classification and higher level positions in the industry. In addition to the advanced catering training, Chief Stewards should be trained in personnel administration (training, supervision, human relations), clerical and account­ ing functions, customs procedures, and obligations under national legislation and international conventions in relation to shipboard catering. Masters and mates (trading and fishing vessels): The wasteful repetition of

1 See para. 2.3.1.


subject matter in the present certificate courses was referred to in para., where it was suggested that there would be benefits all round if the theoretical work were rationalised and covered in a sandwich-type course of college training and sea experience during the cadetship. The Department of Transport has indicated that it is also feasible for the certificate requirements to be covered in this way. The proposed new certificates applicable to interstate and overseas ships would be:

Master Class I ; Master Class I I ; and Deckwatchkeeper.

The full range certificates are listed in para. 5.1.3; and their application is shown in Table 20 (para. 3 .2 .3 .3). The full syllabuses are contained in a consultative document—- ‘Proposed Certificate Structure and Syllabuses for Masters and Deck Officers in the Australian Merchant Navy’, and these have already been discussed between the Department and representatives of the industry.

The basic subjects to be covered for the certificates of competency are:

Mathematics, science, theory of navigation, practical ocean and coastal navigation, chartwork, general ship knowledge, bridge equipment, radar training, meteorology and oceanography, naval architecture, electricity and electrotechnology, radio and electronic aids, engineering knowledge, safety, carriage of goods, ship maintenance, and industrial legal and commercial knowledge.

Additionally, candidates would be required to complete short courses on radar and ship simulators; and also to take a course of management studies covering: man management; conciliation and arbitration procedures; bookkeeping and accountancy; and shipping management—for which outline syllabuses are suggested in the con­ sultative document.

It is strongly recommended that the basic subjects referred to above should be covered in integrated courses of college training and sea service, during the cadetship period. Such a course should extend over at least 90 weeks in college for the Master Class I aspirants (60 weeks for Master Class II) and include 20 to 24 months service at sea,

under guided study. At the end of this period trainees should qualify for a diploma or certificate in nautical science and a deckwatchkeeper certificate, which would allow them to take charge of a navigational watch. Suggested course structures are illustrated behind page 17 of the Report. The Department of Transport’s proposal for new certificates has been taken into account in these training course structures suggested

by the Commission, with minor changes in terminology (Class A in place of Class I and so on).

These courses of education and training would add both the breadth and depth of study which is lacking in the present certificate preparatory courses. (See para.

The commercial and operational aspects of the work, in particular, would be covered properly for the first time, and this would include subjects appropriate to particular areas. For example, the current extension of commercial fishing operations (to more sophisticated ships and gear, and to more distant fishing grounds) indicates that there will be a need for commercial fishing qualifications up to the Master Class B (or II) level in the immediate future. The commercial aspects of fisheries training would cover such subjects a s.

fisheries administration and fisheries legislation; canning techniques; processing,


fish handling; product retailing; plant equipment; maintenance; production management; quality control; work simplification and production control; sanitation and hygiene; fishing gear technology; fish detection; and fishing techniques.

The following course, which is offered by the Tokyo University of Fisheries, serves to indicate the level of training available in at least one overseas country, with which Australia is in direct competition.

A qualification similar to a Bachelor’s degree is awarded. The student chooses one of three faculties, but completes two years of general education subjects before embarking upon specialised studies.

General Education: General Culture, Languages, Physical Education. Special Education: Basic Sciences, Special Subjects.

1. Faculty o f Fishing Fishing Method, Oceanography. Fishing Operation, Physical Fishing. Fishing Gear, Population Dynamics. Fishing Navigation, Marine Instrumentation.

2. Faculty o f Technology Food Preservation, Microbiology, Biological Chemistry, Chemistry, Food Chemistry, Canning Science, Industrial Chemistry, Marine Products for Processing, Marine Products Processing Machinery, Food Refrigeration.

3. Faculty o f Pisciculture Psychology, Zoology, Ichthyology, Fishery Biology, Physiology and Pathology, Fishery Biochemistry, Propagation and Cultivation of Algae, Fishculture and Propagation.

One year Post-Graduate Course.

Two year Post-Graduate Course—Master’s degree.

The very extensive educational facilities available to seafarers in many overseas countries, are generally supplemented with equally extensive practical training facilities. In Japan, for example, large modern training vessels (up to 500 feet in length and carrying upwards of 50 cadets) are attached to each of the various colleges and universities which offer courses for the merchant marine and the fishing industry. A number of these ships have visited Australia.

In France, the college at Le Havre has two purpose-built training vessels of some 150 feet in length for training deck and engineer cadets. Many of the European countries have small training vessels which provide valuable early training in such areas as seamanship, navigation, ship handling, blind pilotage (radar) etc. In particular, these vessels are valuable in providing trainees with the ‘feel’ of handling a ship; and whilst there certainly are differences between handling small ships and large ships (particularly large/low powered ships) such training provides a valuable grounding in the work, based, as it is, on practical experience. Certainly it would provide a valuable addition to the practice of moving small wooden models around on a table—which is all that Australian seafarers have available to them at the present time.


The type of facilities envisaged for practical training are outlined in para. 5.2.3. Present indications are that the annual number of Australian entrants to the Master Class A stream would be of the order of 30 (see para. 2.3.1 and Table 15). This could

increase to about 100 if overseas recruitment sources were to dry up, and wastage rates were to increase to the average value over the past nine years.

For the Master Class B stream, the number would be small initially, possibly of the order of 8 to 10 annually for commercial vessels and a similar number for the larger, more sophisticated vessels in the fishing fleet. But further development of distant water fishing and ‘olf-shore’ exploration and exploitation work could substantially increase the numbers in this category. Marine Engineers: An approach similar to that for the masters and mates is also advocated for marine engineers. That is, an integrated course of theoretical and practical training (including service at sea) over the cadetship period—and including an introductory voyage and an induction course. Suggested course structures

are illustrated behind page 17 of the Report.

The course followed by the various categories of entrant were described in para. where it can be seen that the engineer-cadet scheme (operated by the Australian National Line and Footscray Institute of Technology, Melbourne) goes some way towards providing this type of integrated training. But the Footscray course does not go far enough. There is, for example, a dearth-of equipment for practical

training; and it is doubtful whether the theoretical work is at the appropriate level. It is understood that the entrants have good school leaving qualifications; and it is suggested that a tertiary level course might be more appropriate to this level of entrant. Such a course would involve only an extra 12 weeks full-time study over and above the

78 weeks already covered, and it would undoubtedly bring advantages to the industry as well as to the individual. This type of training should cover all the requirements for the B-class engineer certificate, all the theoretical work for the A-class engineer certificate, and also the element of commercial and managerial work which is missing from the present

curriculum. Concurrently with his certificate or diploma in marine engineering, the trainee should gain a C-class engineer certificate of competency, which would allow him to take charge of an engine-room/control-room watch. The basic subjects (which should be extended to cover management and personnel work as for the deck officer) are as follows:

mathematics; science; applied mechanics; applied heat; applied electricity, metals and processes; engineering drawing; engineering knowledge, naval architecture; communications and report writing; fluid power; electronics, and control systems. The workshop practice should cover the basic principles and practice of fitting, turning and welding. The emphasis should be on familiarisation with the concept and problems involved, rather than on the acquisition of skills in the operations of fitting,

turning or welding. The sea-going training (at present extending over some 60 weeks) should incorporate a course of guided study from the college; and it should include the understudy of an

engineer officer.


The numbers currently entering the industry from Australian sources are of the order of 60 to 70 per year (see Table 15), made up roughly of 10 from National Line engineer- cadet scheme, 15 from apprenticeship/marine technology certificate sources, and 35 with a general engineering apprenticeship background and part A of the second class engineer certificate. (Although the ten-year average to 1971-72 from this latter source was about 90 per year, see para., and well over 100 if uncertificated engineers are included, see Table 15.) An increase in the current wastage rate to that indicated by the nine-year average figures in Table 16, together with a decline in the number of marine engineers who come into the industry from overseas countries, could lead to an increase in the number of Australian entrants to somewhere around 175.1 It is suggested that emphasis be placed on the cadet-engineer scheme, as the most suitable form of training, with a view to it becoming the standard form of entry to the industry. The number of entrants who are suited to a full tertiary course might be limited to between 10 and 20 in the early years, but the numbers should increase in future years.

The remaining marine-engineer entrants should follow a shorter course of less depth (course ‘B’ in the illustration behind page 17). This course would lead to a technician certificate and a C-class engineer certificate—with a B-class engineer certificate being granted after the necessary further sea service had been obtained.

5 .1 .2 .5 Electricians: Electricians on Australian ships receive their trade-based training ashore before joining the industry. In this regard, they are similar to the trade- based marine engineer entrant (the electrician having served his apprenticeship ashore as an electrical fitter, and the engineer having served his time ashore as a mechanical fitter). But, unlike the marine engineer, the electrician does not have certificates of competency available to him.

Furthermore, the electrician cannot progress to the highest engineering positions on board ship since he cannot transfer to the marine engineer discipline without acquiring the relevant mechanical workshop experience.

It is suggested that, for the immediate future, recruitment of electricians should continue to be from a trade-based background, but that an electrician-level qualifica­ tion should be increasingly looked for. It is not thought necessary that an electrical officer with tertiary-level qualifications would be required on board ship in the foreseeable future. It is considered that the tertiary-level marine engineer training referred to in para. 5 .1 .2 .4 would cover the requirements for knowledge and expertise at this level.

But the electrician entrant should be required to take the pre-sea safety induction course referred to in para. He should also, at this stage, be given a short course of training to familiarise him with marine plant.

Some provision should also be made to facilitate entry to the marine engineer stream for experienced sea-going electricians—possibly by way of a course covering the relevant college and workshop phases of the cadet-engineer scheme referred to in para.

1 See para. 2.3.1.


The numbers of electricians currently entering the industry each year are of the order of 25 to 30, generally all recruited in Australia. Shipwrights: The majority of shipwrights and ships’ carpenters on Australian ships, like the electricians referred to in the previous paragraph, serve their apprenticeship in the trade before going to sea. However, approximately one-third of them are of overseas origin and many of these have attained the position by virtue

of having previously served as ships’ carpenter in overseas fleets—generally the British Merchant Navy.

There are no certificates of competency for shipwrights. They are eligible to sit the examination for a second mate certificate provided they have sufficient sea service. But service as a shipwright counts only at two-third rate towards the requirement for a second mate certificate, and this—together with the fact that there are no special preparatory courses for deck rating aspirants to the second mate certificate—makes it difficult, in practice, for a shipwright to progress to higher positions on board ship.

It is suggested that, before going to sea, shipwrights should follow the safety induction course referred to in para. They should also, at this stage, be given a short course of training to familiarise them with shipboard work and equipment.

Some provision should also be made to facilitate entry to the deck officer positions— possibly by way of a special upgrading course.

The numbers entering the industry each year are currently of the order of 10 to 12. Of these about 2 or 3 come from the U.K. merchant navy and the remainder are recruited in Australia. Radio Officers: Sea-going radio officers entering the industry in Australia follow a two-year full-time course at the A.W.A. ‘Marconi’ School in Sydney. The radio courses were referred to in para. 1.3.3 and the certificates—to which the courses lead—were listed in para. 1.2.4.

The inadequacies of the current system of radio officer training were outlined in para. The main difficulty is that the private school is not a viable financial pro­ position. Although aware that extra courses are needed to cover such things as radar maintenance and general marine electronics, the school is not in a position to acquire the necessary facilities.

For radio officers, the general certificate course subjects cover such items as:

Radiotelegraphy and radiotelephony: Theory: Fundamentals of electricity and radio communications; transmission and reception techniques; theory of operation of typical marine radiocommunication, direction-finding, radar, emergency and miscellaneous equipment and of power

supplies for these equipments.

Practical: Operation, adjustment and maintenance of typical marine radio equip­ ment; operational and performance testing; faultfinding; workshop practice including replacement of components; distress, urgency, safety and commercial communication procedures and practices; international regulations and use of international documents; morse. The course, which must be completed before going to sea, should be broadened


beyond the P.M.G. certificate requirements. It should provide a more comprehensive coverage of relevant marine electronics work and include such subjects as:

technical management; mathematics; science; control systems; logic and com­ puter techniques; single sideband techniques; facsimile, telecine, television, data logging equipment; navigation and radar systems;

and it should be adjusted as necessary to lead to the nearest level of accredited technical education qualification.

Such a course may extend over two to three academic years. Industrial experience, including some sea service, should be gained during the long vacations. As for other entrants to the industry, the training should be preceded by a short familiarisation voyage and the induction course referred to in para.

Some provision should also be made to facilitate the transfer of experienced radio officers wishing to change to other shipboard disciplines—particularly to the deck officer grades.

At the present time, some 20 to 25 new students enrol each year at the A.W.A. ‘Marconi’ school. However, only about 8 to 10 actually qualify as radio operator each year (see Table 1). Since recruitment from overseas sources is now insignificant,

the annual number of entrants to the new course might be between 10 and 20.

5.1.3 Intrastate shipping and pleasure craft:

This is the sector of the marine industry which comes under the regulatory control of the various State administrations. It involves large numbers of small craft, for which statistics are not readily available, and includes the large majority of commercial fishing vessels.

Clearly the training task is a local one. It should not—indeed it could not—be defined until separate studies of the various local requirements are undertaken.

Nevertheless, there are definite indications that much more is required in the way of training facilities than presently exists. There is little offering in the way of training and qualifications for commercial fishermen, for example, and there is a clear need for training for the crews of the small ships operating out of the Northern Territory.

It is in this latter case that the Australian Government could provide an example for the States to follow in the provision of training for the small ship seaman. There are two main aspects to this: the introduction of a national structure of certificates of competency; and the fullest possible utilisation of whatever training facilities are provided for the ‘big-ship’ seafarer.

So far as the certificates of competency are concerned, a start has already been made. A new structure of certificates has been developed by the Department of Transport.1

The certificate grades are listed below, and their application to the different categories of ship is indicated in Table 20. Whilst these represent proposals only at this stage the small ship end of the scale has been developed in conjunction with representatives of

1 P ro p o s e d C e rtifica te S tru c tu re a n d S yllabuses fo r M a ste rs a n d D e ck O fficers in th e A u stra lia n

M e rc h a n t N a v y . See p a ra . 3 . 2 . 3 . 3 f o r su m m a ry o f m a in features.


the State marine administrations and it seems probable, therefore, that this uniform system will eventually be implemented in each State. The small ship end of the structure comprises the Master Class III downwards, in the case of deck officers; and from the Third Class Engineer downwards in the case of engineer officers.

The full range of certificates proposed is as follows:

for masters and mates:

Master, Class I Master, Class II , Deckwatchkeeper

Master, Class III Master, Class IV Coxswain Boatman

for marine engineers:

First Class Engineer Second Class Engineer Third Class Engineer First Class Marine Engine-driver

Second Class Marine Engine-driver _

These certificates are intended for masters, mates and engineers of commercial vessels. But the system suggested is a flexible one: the masters and mates syllabuses, for example, are designed around a common core of seamanship and navigation—with provision for endorsement for specialist work, including commercial fishing. Thus, the lower range of the certificates could be readily adapted to provide coverage of pleasure craft proceeding beyond sheltered water limits.

Turning now to the training requirements for the ‘small-ship’ man, it is envisaged that the courses could be offered in the local technical colleges (in Darwin, for example, in the community college). A possible pattern of development could be a course of about one years’ duration for school-leavers—such as the course run by Fremantle Technical College for entrants to the fishing industry—to provide a grounding in the

general principles, upon which specialist and updating knowledge could be built later through attendance at short part-time courses. Suggested course structures for deck and engineer officers on small ships are illustrated behind page 17 of the Report. The Department of Transport proposal for new certificates has been taken

into account in those training course structures suggested by the Commission, with minor changes in terminology (Class C in place of Class III and so on).

The role of a major marine technology institute in relation to local training units could be significant—in particular in such areas as:

co-ordination of curricula, research, updating and general guidance to the small local training units; provision of extension courses (possibly by use of a training vessel) in specialist equipment; e.g., radar, decca, D/F etc.; and, ,

training and referesher courses for instructors.



5.2.1 Type of establishment:

The considerations which follow relate primarily to the training requirements of the interstate and overseas sector—i.e. the national sector—of the maritime industry. The basis of discussion throughout this sub-section, therefore, is the interstate and

overseas part of the shipping industry together with the increasing number of sophisti­ cated small ships in the fishing and off-shore exploration industries—which operate beyond the limits of State jurisdiction.

The first question that arises is whether the training should be provided within the education system of the country, or in a separate—purely marine—establishment.

In this regard it needs to be recognised first of all that the number of prospective trainees is relatively small; and a small single-purpose institute could not sustain the facilities and environment for such things as cross-fertilisation between different disciplines etc. which are necessary to ensure that it keeps pace with changes in the industrial and educational worlds.

Secondly, because of relatively small numbers involved, a maritime college separate from the education system of the country would not be viable financially because of the cost of staff, equipment, and facilities. The A.W.A. ‘Marconi’ school in Sydney is an example (see para. of a single-purpose school which is experiencing

difficulties operating in isolation from other colleges.

Thus, the establishment of a nautical or maritime academy, outside of the education system of the country is not recommended. The only question that remains is whether the new courses and facilities should be provided in the existing establishments, or whether the resources should be concentrated at one place.

On the basis of student numbers alone, there is a strong argument for rationalisation of the available facilities into a single centre. The small numbers attending the courses in the present schools must have been a contributory factor to the lack of development of nautical education in Australia, up to the present time. The total numbers following the certificate preparatory courses at the three navigation and marine engineering schools1 would constitute reasonable course sizes for one institute; and the existing radio officers’ and ratings’ courses are already centralised.

The following points—which support the case for a single establishment—have been submitted by the Commission on Advanced Education:

‘N E E D F O R A N A T I O N A L M A R I T I M E T R A I N I N G I N S T I T U T E

I t is s u g g e s te d t h a t t h e e x is ti n g d e fic ie n c ie s in t h e t r a i n i n g o f m e r c h a n t m a r i n e r s a n d

f is h e r m e n c o u l d b e m o r e e ffe c tiv e ly o v e r c o m e b y t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a n a ti o n a l

m a r i t i m e t r a i n i n g i n s t i t u t e r a t h e r t h a n b y a t t e m p t i n g t o i m p r o v e s t a n d a r d s in e x is tin g

i n s t i t u t i o n s . T h e r e a s o n s a r e a s f o l l o w s :

(i) T h e t o t a l n u m b e r u n d e r t a k i n g m a r i n e - o r i e n te d c o u r s e s a t a n y o n e tim e

w o u l d n o t b e v e r y g r e a t. I t is e s t im a te d t h a t th e i n t a k e o f t r a in e e s — r a n g in g

f r o m m a s te r s t o s t e w a r d s — in a n y o n e y e a r w o u l d b e o f t h e o r d e r o f 2 0 0 . I t

w o u l d t h e r e f o r e b e m o r e e c o n o m i c a l t o p r o v i d e sp e c ific a lly s e a f a r in g c o u rs e s

f o r t h e s e t r a i n e e s in o n e i n s t i t u t i o n t h a n t o d u p l ic a te t r a i n i n g fa c ilitie s in a

n u m b e r o f i n s t it u t io n s .

1 See Tables 3 and 4: there are two or sometimes three courses per year.


(ii) A s t h e e q u ip m e n t r e q u i r e d f o r t h e e ffe c tiv e t r a i n i n g o f d e c k o ffic e rs , e n g in e e r s

a n d r a d i o o p e r a t o r s is e x p e n s iv e it w o u l d b e m o s t u n e c o n o m i c a l t o i n s ta ll it

in m o r e t h a n o n e i n s t i t u t i o n w ith a c o n s e q u e n t s m a ll e n r o lm e n t i n e a c h o n e

a n d t h e n e e d t o e m p l o y t r a i n e d s t a f f t o o p e r a t e t h e e q u ip m e n t.

(*ii) W i t h t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f c o u r s e s in o n e e s t a b l i s h m e n t it w o u l d b e p o s s ib le

t o p r o v i d e s p e c ia lis t s t a f f in e a c h s u b je c t, b e t t e r o v e r a l l t r a i n i n g f a c ilitie s a n d

m o r e s a t is f a c to r y s t u d e n t / s t a f f r a ti o s . I t w o u l d a ls o b e p o s s ib le to a t t r a c t a n d

r e t a i n b e t t e r q u a lif ie d t e a c h i n g s t a f f in m a r i n e s tu d ie s . S u c h t e a c h e r s w o u l d

b e a b le t o c o n d u c t i n v e s ti g a ti o n s i n t o m a r i t i m e p r o b l e m s u s in g t h e c o lle g e

f a c ilitie s .

(iv ) F r o m a n e d u c a t i o n a l p o i n t o f v ie w it w o u l d b e m o r e b e n e f ic ia l f o r s t u d e n t s to

b e t r a i n e d in a n a t i o n a l i n s t it u t e w h ic h w o u l d p r o v i d e a r a n g e o f c o u r s e s r a t h e r

t h a n in s e p a r a t e i n s t i t u t i o n s ( a s a t p r e s e n t ) w h ic h s p e c ia lis e in o n e d is c ip lin e

o n ly . I n a n a t i o n a l i n s t it u t e p r o v i d in g a r a n g e o f c o u r s e s it w o u l d b e p o s s ib le

f o r s t u d e n t s t o o b t a i n a n o v e r a ll c o n c e p t o f w h a t life a t s e a is lik e . S t u d e n ts

w o u l d n o t o n ly m ix w i t h o t h e r s d e s tin e d f o r c a r e e r s a t s e a b u t a l s o w o u l d b e

m ix in g w ith s t u d e n t s p r e p a r i n g f o r o t h e r c a r e e r s . T h is w o u l d m e a n i n t e g r a t i o n

w i t h s o c i e t y ; it w o u l d a ls o m e a n b e t t e r a p p r e c i a t i o n b y “ l a n d l u b b e r s ” o f th e

n a t u r e o f t h e d u t ie s o f s h i p s ’ o ffice rs.

(v ) I t is t h e p o lic y o f t h e C o m m i s s io n o n A d v a n c e d E d u c a t i o n t o s u p p o r t th e

e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f c o u r s e s in m u lt i - v o c a ti o n a l t r a i n i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s w h e n e v e r

t h is o p t i o n is a v a i l a b l e a s a p r a c t ic a l a l t e r n a t i v e t o s u p p o r t i n g s in g le - p u r p o s e

i n s t it u t io n s .

(v i) I t is a ls o c o n s i s t e n t w i t h C o m m i s s io n o n A d v a n c e d E d u c a t i o n p o lic y t o h a v e

t h e e d u c a t i o n o f s e a f a r e r s i n te g r a t e d w i t h in th e e x is tin g s y s te m o f t e r t i a r y

e d u c a t i o n in A u s t r a l i a r a t h e r t h a n t o h a v e it r e m a i n o u t s i d e t h e te c h n ic a l o r

a d v a n c e d e d u c a t i o n s y s te m s a s i t la r g e ly is a t p r e s e n t.

(v ii) W it h t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a n a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g i n s t i t u t e i t w o u l d b e p o s s ib le

e v e n t u a l l y t o fill a ll s e n i o r te a c h i n g p o s i t io n s w i t h A u s t r a l i a n p e r s o n n e l,

th e r e b y r e d u c i n g t h e tim e l a g in r e c r u i t m e n t r e f e r r e d t o in p a r a g r a p h 27 (v ).*

(v iii) T h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f s u c h a c o lle g e , w i t h a d e f in ite i d e n t i ty a n d a c le a r ly

d e f in e d r o l e , w o u l d f a c i li t a t e t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f c o u r s e s f o r t h e m a r i t im e

c a r e e r s w h ic h w o u l d e n a b l e A u s t r a l i a n s e a f a r e r s t o m a i n t a i n p a r it y o f p r o ­

f e s s io n a l q u a li f i c a ti o n s w ith t h e i r o v e r s e a s c o u n t e r p a r t s . ’

*Note: P a r a . 2 7 (v ) o f t h e C o m m i s s io n o n A d v a n c e d E d u c a t i o n S u b m is s io n

is, a s f o l l o w s :

‘A s e r io u s s h o r t a g e o f q u a lif ie d i n s t r u c t o r s e x is ts in A u s t r a l i a a t th e

p r e s e n t tim e . A ll s e n i o r s t a f f is r e c r u i t e d o v e r s e a s . T h is m e a n s t h a t

p o s i t io n s r e m a i n v a c a n t f o r n i n e m o n t h s o r m o r e . ’

5.2.2 Size:

Initially the college should provide courses for which an immediate need has been identified: that is, for the higher levels of qualification for deck and engineer officers and for radio officers. The requirements for these categories would be, as follows:

Deck Officers: There would be an immediate requirement for training facilities for approximately 30 entrants per year; and with changes in the present wastage rates and dependence on a supply of trained officers from overseas sources the requirement could extend to beyond 100 per year (s. 2.3.1).

Thus, for a three-academic-year course there would be a short-term requirement for 90 student places; and this could extend to upwards of 300 student-places, in the long term.


A further 30 to 40 student places might be required for a two-year course for masters of the larger fishing vessels and the small trading vessels (i.e. a course leading to a Deckwatchkeeper/Master Class B certificate). This number could also be expected to increase with time.

Engineer Officers: The current entry rate would be about 60 per year; and, with the changes referred to above, this could extend to 175 per year (s. 2.3.1).

Assuming that 20% of the intake follow a three-academic-year course, and the remainder a two-year-course, there would be a short-term requirement for 130 student places; and this also could eventually extend to upwards of 300 student


Radio Officers: At the present time some 20 to 25 new students enrol each year in Australia for radio officer training. However only about 8 to 10 actually qualify as marine radio officers each year (see Table 1). Since recruitment from overseas sources is now insignificant, the actual number of entrants to the new course might be between 10 and 20. Assuming an annual intake of 16 and a course extending over 2 \ academic years, there would be a short-term requirement for some 40 student places.

Thus, the short-term requirement would be: 130 student places for deck officers; 130 student places for engineer officers; and 40 student places for radio officers— a total of some 300 student places. In the longer term, this requirement could increase by over 100%, due to an increase in the current wastage rates, and a drying-up of the present sources of overseas-trained entrants.

Updating and Specialist Courses: The previous figures for student-places refer to the basic, or undergraduate, courses only and do not take account of the various short refresher, updating and specialist courses which should be developed for serving officers, and also for senior ratings/petty officers. It would not be un­ reasonable to assume, for instance, that in a period of rapid technological change each officer would require a short updating course at least once every five years. This would mean that one-fifth of the workforce, or approximately 500 officers, would follow courses varying in length from a few days to two or three weeks each year. Something of the order of 20 to 30 additional student places would be required for this purpose.

Higher Studies: A further 10 to 20 student places would be necessary for officers wishing to go on to higher studies and post-graduate work. In this regard it could be assumed that an additional year, beyond the three-academic-year Diploma course, would lead to a first-degree qualification. Such a provision would alleviate the present, highly unsatisfactory situation whereby Australian seafarers wishing to obtain the extra master, extra first-class engineer, or nautical science degree qualifications are forced to go overseas to attend courses of study.

Ancillary Functions: There are a number of other functions, or roles, which a maritime institute would normally be expected to develop. The function of fostering, co-ordinating, and guiding the development of local training units for the training of ratings, small craft operators, and in-shore fishermen has already been referred to (para. 5.1.3). In this regard, the provision of training and refresher courses for


teachers might have a further bearing on the accommodation and equipment required.

Another natural development would be research and service work for the shipping industry. For example, the senior nautical training establishments in the United Kingdom—generally operating as departments of Polytechnics or Universities— fulfil a valuable role for the shipping industry and associated bodies such as the

National Ports Council by organising special courses, conferences and seminars, and carrying out research projects.

Areas covered include": management in port-operations; research and development in cargo handling; research into collision avoidance; training and harbour and traffic control. Seminars for port managers, harbour masters, pilots, and senior officers of shipping companies are held regularly. These cover such subjects as:

modern developments in shipping, new aids to navigation, handling of dangerous goods and hazardous and noxious cargoes, etc.

It could be envisaged that a new maritime institute might naturally develop some of these services for the Australian industry—and possibly also for some other countries in the S.E. Asian and S. Pacific regions.

These sorts of developments, many of which should flow naturally from the establishment of a maritime college, would add to the level of requirements: although the extent to which they would do so is not readily prescribed at this stage.

On the other hand, the estimated numbers of student places for the diploma courses, referred to previously, were based on the assumption that all the students would follow the full courses at the central college. It is, however, advocated in Part I of this Report, that some students could take the first (general) year of the

course at institutions in the States in which they live. This could result in a decrease in the previously estimated student places at the central college.

Assuming, for example, that around half of the deck, and engineer officer trainees took the first year course in colleges near to their homes, a reduction of about 40 student places would be indicated. Such a reduction would roughly be balanced by the additional student places previously estimated for the updating and refresher

courses and for higher studies: resulting in an overall, short term, requirement of some 300 student places.

Student places: Thus, the initial development of the maritime college should be based on a requirement of 300 student places; and the possibility of a long-term requirement of double this figure might be borne in mind. Of the initial 300 student places some 401 would be serviced by existing faculties such as mathematics and

science and the remainder would need to be provided within the new college.

5.2.3 Practical Training Facilities: It is of major importance that the maritime college is situated within, or close to, a college of advanced education in order that full benefit may be derived from the

1 Based on the assumption that half the students will gain fr° m ^ ^ l o ^ u d ^ D l a c e s ^ ' It is quite probable, however, that this requirement would be 80, rather than 40, stude,.t places.


facilities and environment of a major educational establishment. This was referred to in para. 5.2.1. It is equally important, however, that the maritime college should be situated close to sheltered water with good access to the sea, in order that good practical training facilities may be provided.

The practical training facilities should be established at a ‘seamanship centre’ which would include a jetty, boat repair sheds, boats, liferafts, etc.; and also a small training ship.

A ship of some 1,000-2,000 gross tons is envisaged for training purposes. It should have sufficient accommodation for 20 to 30 trainees and incorporate special facilities such as:

two navigating bridges, that is a training bridge additional to the normal bridge;

a special large chartroom;

special facilities for training in the engine-room including a sound-proof com­ partment for writing up notes and reports;

a classroom for some formal study; and

some basic laboratory equipment for research projects.


Below is a list of sources of specific information received by the Commission. The list is not as extensive as it might have been. However, a great deal of attention has been paid, during the Commission’s work on this subject, to ensuring that the information gathered is as complete as possible:

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited Associated Steamships Pty Ltd Association of Employers of Waterside Labour Australian Chamber of Shipping Australian Commission on Advanced Education (including a study by P.A.

Management Consultants (Australasia) Pty Ltd) Australian Government Departments:

Department of Labour Department of Primary Industry Department of Transport Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers Australian Mines and Metals Association Australian National Line (Australian Coastal Shipping Commission) Australian Steamship Owners Federation

J. Brace, Esq.

W. F. Brittain, Esq.

Captain G. G. Clark


Co-ordinating Committee on Training for Work at Sea G. Coster, Esq.

CSR Limited Department of Technical Education (New South Wales) Federated Shipwrights and Ship Constructors Association of Australia Captain J. C. Foley

Footscray Institute of Technology Gollin Holdings Limited Harbour and Light Department (Western Australia) Captain D. A. Hopper

J. Horn, Esq.

Marine Cooks, Bakers and Butchers Association of Australasia Master Mariners’ Association of Tasmania Merchant Service Guild of Australia R. W. Miller and Company Pty Limited

Port Hedland Port Authority Port Phillip Sea Pilots Professional Radio Employees’ Institute of Australasia Public Works Department (Western Australia)

E. Riches, Esq.

Captain C. P. Rose Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Seamen’s Union of Australia Captain D. A. Smith

State Committee (Tasmania) for Co-ordinating Submissions to the Maritime Industry Commission of Inquiry State Shipping Service—Western Australian Coastal Shipping Commission The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited

Captain D. R. Ward

R 73/2830


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