Merchant navy jobs in India see huge spike as country sees worsening youth unemployment

Merchant navy jobs in India see huge spike as country sees worsening youth unemployment
The sail training ship of Indian Navy, INS Tarangini, being accorded a grand reception after it completed a seven month long sail across the world, at naval base in Kochi on Oct 30, 2018. IANS
  • The number of Indians employed in Merchant Navy rose by a 35% in 2018.
  • The foreign employment figures also went up by 12,133 during the period 2017-2018.
  • The Indian government has taken initiatives to enhance the classroom training by including on-board training into the training curriculum in 2016.
While India is facing one of its worst unemployment crises among the youth, the number of Indians employed in merchant navy — on Indian and foreign ships — witnessed an upsurge of 35% in 2018.

According to the Ministry of Shipping's statistics, Indians who enrolled in merchant navy increased from 154,349 in 2017 to 208,799 in 2018, which indicates the growing demand for Indian seafarers not just on Indian ships, but globally on foreign flag vessels as well. This applies across various designations — including nautical officers and engineers among others.

In fact, the new entrants on on-board training also rose from 14,307 in 2017 to 19,545 last year — which accounts for 37% growth in the employed youth.

Talking of foreign employment figures, the numbers went up from 60,194 to 72,327, during the same time.

Government push

In 2016, India began providing classroom training for merchant navy and arranging on-board ship training for a hands-on experience, Livemint reported citing an official from the shipping ministry.

The growth recorded may be attributed to the measures taken over the past four years for maritime training — which includes the revised norms and training curriculum introduced in 2016 by the government. The change in training curriculum was aimed at meeting global standards to increase the number of foreign employers.

The government also introduced a 'Comprehensive Inspection Program’ to keep a check on the quality of institutions for training purposes.

Additionally, a free of cost e-learning module was also rolled out to skill up the knowledge base of Indian seafarers, ahead of examinations, a senior official from the ministry reportedly said. This came in to overcome the 15-year-old ban on forming new training institutes.

Overall, the government push reportedly added berth for nearly 4,000 trainees.

With the Indian Navy giving attractive salaries of upto ₹200,000 per month, more of the country’s youth has been applying for posts across levels. Merchant navy salaries tend to be higher starting at nearly ₹40,000 a month.

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