Massad’s school, with its latest intake comprising nearly 550 students, gained recognition from the European Union in December, following an auditing and evaluation process spanning two years. Academy’s graduates are prized by maritime companies, typified by United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), whose officer roster consists of 35% JAMS graduates, Massad said. The Academy’s student body comprises “15 or 16” nationalities, including Greek, Pakistani and Egyptian candidates, despite the comprehensive maritime training provision in those countries.
“There is one major problem in the world. As part of the Maritime Education – a very essential and obligatory part – is what we have called ‘guided sea training’. Shipping companies used to have training plans.”
“Now, shipping companies are not wise enough to plan for this: no budgets, no accommodation aboard ships; how can you have an officer if you cannot train him? This is not a Jordanian problem, it’s not an Arab problem, it’s a worldwide problem.”
The college recently signed an MoU with South Shields Maritime School, which involves a student exchange program between the two colleges. “When I talk to people in South Shields, they say ‘we do not accept self-financed students,” said Massad. “They must be sponsored by shipping companies, because only then do we know someone is going to give them the opportunity for training.’”
Speaking of new cadets from around the world, Massad said: “Some of them have to wait for a year before they can have the opportunity to train, and get paid. Sometimes they are forced to work not as cadets but as oilers and wipers. Other institutions claim – and I don’t want to mention names – that they have a cadet ship, but training… doesn’t mean you live on a ship for three months that moves maybe three days. Yet based on that, they will give you a certificate of competency.”
“How can we give this person a watch for eight hours out of 24?”