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Training place shortages create new demand in Jordan

Training place shortages create new demand in Jordan
In the space of a week, the University of Aquaba in Jordan has garnered 50 applicants for its new Bachelor Degree course, Marine Transportation Technology, which starts this month.

The Jordanian students, having heard about the course via word-of-mouth, represent the first intake for the Marine Transportation Technology BA Degree, which was first submitted to the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education and the IMO in October 2012, and was approved in August of this year.

Founder Dr. Farouq Ahmad Issa Al Azzam, dean of the University, says that the need for education and training in the Middle-Eastern shipping industry has grown enormously in response to both the closure of maritime universities in Europe due to high costs, and the increasing turmoil and instability in many Middle-Eastern countries.

"The shortage in the global maritime field is 25,000," Al azzam explained. "In the past, most Jordanians would go to Egypt or Europe. Now, we are looking to improve the education and training in Jordan."

Farouq told Seatrade Global that an entirely new campus, dedicated to maritime training, would be established in the next year and, once finished, will feature new workshops, engineering laboratories and simulation suites.

"The only maritime academy in the area is in Egypt," said Hussam Al-Zaghal, managing director of Dolphin Maritime Surveys, who works with Al Azzam and who himself studied in Egypt. "We have a shortage of seafarers in Jordan."

Al-Zaghal said that demand for Middle-Eastern seafarers was buoyed even further by a need for cheaper labour from shipowners, citing the UK as an example. "The UK flag makes shipowners use UK crew on the vessel – who require higher wages," he said. "This pushes Shipowners to fly 'flags of convenience' - to reduce costs."

UK Chamber of Shipping director Kenneth McLeod similarly called for more training provision in the UK just last week.