Our Cadets, Our Future
Junior officers in training
While it may take only a year or two to construct a new vessel, it takes as many as eight years to produce a competent seafarer. Trainee officers and engineers need from three to five years to qualify for the junior ranks and up to eight years to reach a senior level in the international fleet.
The shipping industry continues to face a serious shortage of qualified seafarers. In 2005, one study projected the shortage to reach 3%, or 14,300 officers by 2015. In order to meet its crewing needs, OSG continually adjusts its international cadet development program, focusing on training and mentoring future OSG mariners to ensure our vessels are manned by competent crew.
While OSG's international cadet program has been in place since 1994, the Company stepped up the program in 2001 by selecting 40 cadets on average each year. OSG scouts the best maritime schools in the Philippines and more recently China to identify young men and women with "the right stuff" to one day become an officer on board an OSG-managed vessel. Since inception, the effort has produced 36 senior level officers and 330 junior level officers across the international fleet.
Grooming the Next Generation
To begin with, OSG applies rigorous selection procedures including psychological assessments, general knowledge ability tests and panel interviews to select cadets. To be accepted into the program, candidates not only have to pass these tests but also display initiative and ambition during the interview. Under the program that has been in place for many years, Philippine cadets spent two years in maritime school, one year on board and then returned to school for a final year of formal education, with many expenses underwritten by OSG. Changes in the program in 2011 will reduce OSG's financial outlay for individuals and aims to cultivate more fully prepared and competent young seafarers by shifting sea experience to post-graduation. Upon completion of the cadet's third year of school and pre-sea training, the cadet will complete a one-year onboard program followed by license examination.
While OSG's management system clearly defines the role of the shipboard management team as it relates to cadet training and mentoring, increased emphasis will be placed on the cadet and his or her own self-motivation toward attaining officer status. The bright young stars chosen for OSG's international cadet program hold the keys to their own future by demonstrating determination, excellence and commitment.
U.S. Flag Cadets Exceed Available Berths
Cadet shipping in the United States is managed and directed by the country's leading maritime academies. With its expanding fleet and reputation for quality operations, the OSG U.S. Flag cadet program is a coveted assignment. The Company accepted 28 cadets this year from five academies. Each cadet is required to complete a sea project dictated by the school. Onboard training is managed by the master and chief mate.
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