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Choosing a Career at Sea

Choosing a Career at Sea

Until now It has been a challenge for newcomers to join a seafaring career in the Maldives. The reasons are many, but it will be a good idea to discuss a few points of concern for the newcomers.


It is apparent that the Maldives does not have a proper maritime college. The only
institute where STCW courses are conducted is the Center for Maritime Studies (CMS) of the Maldives National University. Though there is considerable improvement during past couple of years, CMS does not have proper facilities for a
full-fledged cadet training program. Training courses for officers and engineers
were not conducted on a regular basis. Therefore, students who wish to pursue a
career at sea were forced to go abroad for studies.


Maldives National Shipping limited (MNSL) was the main employer of Maldivian Seafarers. MNSL ceased their operations over a decade ago and as a result, many seafarers became jobless and had to choose a new career to feed their families. Few lucky seafarers who had studied abroad managed to secure a job at a foreign
shipping company. Seafarers were left stranded and had to fend for themselves as the government did not have any alternatives made available for those who were impacted.


Though Maldives is mainly dependent on sea transportation for goods and people,
governments did not promote careers at Sea. Rather, the focus was solely on tourism, prompted as ‘the goose that lays the golden egg’, the only industry in the Maldives. However, the fact is that working onboard a ship is also a career path
where one can excel.

Contract Period Mostly one year 9 months or less. In some
cases, even 4 months
Leave 30 days Stay as long as you want
Salary Considerably less From Mvr.15,000 to Mvr.230,000
depending on the rank
Living Condition Not regulated Regulated and compliant to international standards
Insurance Not mandatory Fully covered

We can see that there is a distinct advantage if you choose a career at sea.


One of the issues faced in the past by officers and engineers was that, unlike academic certificates, MQA does not endorse Certificate of Competency since it doesn’t fall under their mandate. Sadly there is no other government body that endorses this. Because of this missing endorsement seafarers lose the opportunity to apply for some of the scholarships for further studies.

Availability of scholarships for a career at sea was almost zero and funding or securing a student loan is next to impossible just because Seafarers certificates do not have an MQA stamp on them.

See Also
See Also

The startup, Maldives State Shipping has recently announced fully funded scholarships for deck and engineer officer training. The wholly-owned subsidiary of State Trading Organisation is offering courses from foreign institutes and include full tuition fees, food and lodging and pocket money for the duration of their studies. According to MSS, they will provide required sea-time opportunities and employment after completion of the course. Starting Salary is expected to be MVR 50000 and salary increments will apply as they progress in their career. A Master’s Salary offered currently by MSS is at MVR 117,000.

This brings an end to a decade old blockade on seafarers training and opens the doors for newcomers to start fresh in a reputed professional career.

Author: mmj

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