Chamber in Review
Meeting Maritime Manpower Needs
Meeting Maritime Manpower Needs

From firefighting skills to shipping finance, the Maritime Services Training Institute (MSTI) prepares all levels of workers for their roles in this pillar industry for Hong Kong’s economy. The Chamber paid a visit to the institute on 1 March to find out more about the wide scope of training on offer.

Hong Kong Port is one of the busiest container ports in the world, but it must keep up with innovations in the sector if it is to retain its position amid fierce global competition. Manpower needs are also changing as the industry evolves, creating new demands and skill requirements.

In recognition of the importance of the sector, the Government has committed to support the development of advanced maritime services. These include a diverse range of professions like ship registration and management, marine insurance as well as maritime legal and arbitration services. 

Founded in 1988, MSTI provides full-time pre-employment courses including the Higher Diploma in Maritime Studies and the Certificate for Junior General Purpose Ratings. Besides young trainees entering the industry, current employees and in-service seafarers can also take advantage of the institute’s part-time programmes to enhance their professional knowledge and skills. 

Briefing members on the current curriculum and future development of the institute, Mak Chiu-ki, Director of MSTI, said they are planning to introduce further courses to meet the changing manpower needs, particularly in the areas of cruise vessels, luxury yachts and marine engineering. 

Members toured the MSTI campus and some of the teaching facilities. Adopting the latest technology in its training methods, the institute has three full-mission ship-handling simulators. These allow students to experience different scenarios including basic navigation, watch keeping and collision avoidance techniques. The institute is also considering setting up a full-mission engine room simulator, to provide more hands-on experience to its marine engineering students. 

Members also had the opportunity during the visit to watch a firefighting drill demonstration performed by MSTI students, which tests their ability to deal with emergency situations while on board.