Revitalizing Chinese Ratings need not only be a slogan. Turning it from slogan to reality requires every stakeholder in the shipping industry to play their part. By organizing the First International Ratings Conference (IRC) on 14 September 2018 at the Hilton Shenzhen ShekouNanhai Hotel China, the Singapore Organisation of Seaman(SOS), Singhai Marine Services, Jiangsu Vocational & Technical Shipping College and Singapore (Nantong) International Maritime Institute (sponsored by the Amalgamated Union of Seafarers Hong Kong) and the Merchant Navy Officers’ Guild – Hong Kong, have come together to take the first step to turn slogan into reality.
The primary theme of the First International Ratings Conference is to discuss the importance of developing ratings, especially Chinese ratings, in support of China’s One Belt One Road initiatives. Close to 200 representatives from the whole spectrum of industry stakeholders including unions,administrators, international shipping companies and Chinese ratings themselves provided significant value-add to and a bonus for this free-of-charge conference to discuss the development of ratings.
As the Chairman of the International Ratings Conference Organizing Committee, our Group MD, Mr. Terence Zhao welcomed all local and international speakers,delegates, guests and ratings participating in the Conference. He expressed his delight and honour to host such animpactful and significant conference. Mr. Terence Zhao highlighted the under-appreciated importance of ratings for the shipping industry and thence the timeliness and relevance of this conference to address this gap in the shipping industry. The panel discussion format of this conference provided more opportunities for professionals to interact and exchange ideas in developing quality ratings for the international fleets.
Panel Discussion 1：
主持人:Mr Kam Soo Huat新加坡海員聯合會秘書長
嘉賓: Capt Chung Tung Tong 香港商船高級船員協會 秘書長
Mr I Dewa Nyoman Budiasa 印尼海員工會 秘書長
Mr Jose Raul V Lamug 國際運輸工人聯盟 新加坡區總監
Au Yeung Kam Lung 香港航業海員合並工會理事長
The conference started with the first panel discussion led by Mr. Kam Soo Huat, the General Secretary of SOS. With him on the panel were CAPT Chung Tung Tong, General Secretary of MNOG, Mr.Dewa NyomanBudiasa, General Secretary of Indonesia’s Seafarer Union,KesatuanPelautIndonsia (KPI), Mr. Au Yeung Kam Lung, President of Amalgamated Union of Seafarers Hong Kong, and Mr. Jose Raul V Lamug, the Head of Region International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), Singapore office. The panel stressed the importance of the unions’ roles in working hand-in-hand with the shipping community to develop quality ratings for the shipping industry. The panel also highlighted that countries in the region should work closer with each other to supplement ratings to meet the requirement of shipping industry thereby addressing the shortage of ratings in the region. Towards this end, unions should facilitate countries to work more closely.
會議隨著第一項專題討論條不紊地展開。第一項專題討論由Kam Soo Huat先生，新加坡海員聯合會秘書長作為主持人，Chung Tung Tong船長，香港商船高級船員協會秘書長，I Dewa NyomanBudiasa先生，印尼海員工會秘書長，Au Yeung Kam Lung先生香港航業海員合並工會理事長，以及國際運輸工人聯盟新加坡區總監Jose Raul V Lamug先生共同擔任嘉賓。該環節探討了工會在普通船員培養過程中的重要作用，以及工會應該采取哪些措施使得區域能夠互通有無，共同解決區域中普通船員供應不足的問題。
Panel Discussion 2：
主持人:Capt Fared Khan 華林船舶管理有限公司海事總監
嘉賓: Capt Lim Swee Aun新加坡海事雇主聯合會 主席
Capt Chan Kok Leong 萊福士船舶管理有限公司總監
Capt Somasundar Nair中英船舶管理有限公司 人事部總監
Francis Chin 森海海事操作總監
The second panel addressed the issue of employability of Chinese Ratings onboard ships with multi-national crew. Providing international perspectiveson this issue, the panel was led Capt Fared Khan, Marine Director of Wallem Shipmanagement. The panelists included Capt Lim SweeAun, Chairman of Singapore Maritime Employers Federation (SMEF), Capt Chan Kok Leong, Director of Raffles Shipmanagement, Capt Somasundar Nair, Director Fleet Personnel Department of Anglo-Eastern Ship Management and Mr. Francis Chin, Operations Director of Singhai Marine Services. The panel shared the telling statistics of Chinese ratings employed with international shipping companies, exchanged frank opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese ratings as well as offered advice for Chinese ratings to better integrate in the international fleets.
第二項專題研討由Capt Fared Khan 華林船舶管理有限公司海事總監擔任主持人與嘉賓一起探討了國際航運企業視角下中國普通船員混派的職業前景。新加坡海事雇主聯合會主席， Lim SweeAun船長，萊福士船舶管理有限公司總監Chan Kok Leong船長，中英船舶管理有限公司人事部總監Somasundar Nair船長以及森海海事操作總監 Francis Chin先生參與了本次專題研。本環節不僅探討了中國普通船員外派數量的問題，更重要的是為幫助普通船員融入國際船隊提供了卓有實效的方法與策略。
Panel Discussion 3：
羅成船長， 上海申博電子遊戲手機版有限公司 招募總監
The third panel comprised of group of reputable marine professionals in the Chinese shipping industry led by Capt Glory Gu, Managing Director of Dalian Gold Fleet Ship Co.Ltd. The panelist included Mr. Li Qi Bin- General Manager of INMATESECO, Mr. Lv Shi Dong – Deputy General Manager of Beijing Huayang Maritime, Capt. Jack Yi -Assistant General Manager of Huaxing Crew Management and Capt Luo Cheng –Recruitment Director of Singhai Marine Services (Shanghai). The panel shared the reasons why China has yet to be the largest ratings supplying country to international shipping industry and discussed challenges faced in attracting and recruiting more ratings to join the seafaring career. The panel also offered some innovative and concrete measures that the Chinese shipping industry should implement to attract more Chinese ratings to join the industry and how Chinese ratings can supplement seafarers from other countries despite the current difficulty of cultural integration. Beyond boosting the number of Chinese ratings in the industry and international shipping companies, the panel also urged the shipping industry to work together to prevent declining number of seafarers, a situation that have already plagued many developed countries.
Panel Discussion 4：
主持人:施祝斌先生，江蘇航運職業技術學院 副院長 / 中新（南通）國際海事培訓中心 董事長
嘉賓:程綱先生， 華林（青島）培訓中心 主任
Capt Min Min Tun 緬甸卓越之星海事培訓中心 校長
Ms Kitty Chan 香港商船高級船員協會 行政助理
The last panel focused on maritime education and how the training community could make the Chines ratings reach international standards. The panel was led by Mr.Shi Zhu Bin – Deputy Principle of Jiangsu Vocational & Technical Shipping College / Chairman of Singapore (Nantong) International Maritime Institute and his a team of maritime education and training experts such as Capt Cheng Gang-Head of Training of Wallem Maritime Training Centre Qingdao, Mr. Li Bin – Dean of Continuing Education of Jiangsu Vocational & Technical Shipping College,Capt. Min Min Tun - Principal of Myanmar Excellent Stars Maritime Training Centre and Ms Kitty Chan- Assistant Administrator, of Merchant Navy Officers’Guild – Hong Kong (MNOG). The panel shared their respective organisations’ approaches to providing quality maritime education and training in China and Myanmar. Ehile the approaches were different, the objective was the same, i.e., to help ratings overcome their two fundamental obstacles and concerns, i.e. culture adaptability and English proficiency, thereby enhancing their confidence to work on board international ships in a mixed crew environment. The panel also highlighted that MNOG provides the Hong Kong Maritime Scholarship Fund to subsidize training of seafarers for shipping companies, an incentive offered by other unions as well.
One of the highlights of the conference were the ratings representative presentation. Serving with Ocean Tankers,Oiler Luo Ming Kun’s confident and impressive presentation in fluent English on his experience of working international shipping company has definitely helped dispelled the perception held by international shipping companies that Chinese ratings lack English proficiency, proved that with continuous training and education,Chinese ratings can be trained to be on par with the best in the industry and provided encouragement for Chinese ratings. The other highlight of the conference was having representative from Shenzhen MSA to assist in answering some of the questions raised by the conference participants.
In the closing remark, the host of the International Ratings Conference, Mr. Terence Zhao re-emphasized that now is a very appropriate time to discuss the challenges in developing ratingsin the shipping community, especially Chinese ratings. Mr. Terence Zhao expressed his sincere appreciation to all administrators, unions, shipping companies, maritime organizations, training institutions and ratings serving with various shipping companies participating in this conference. He hoped the conference will serve as a precursor for more dedicated study and work the immediate future to improve the development prospects of ratings,especially Chinese ratings, and provide innovative recommendations to address the challenges. Mr. Terence Zhao also hoped that with the success of the first International Rating Conference, the momentum will be sustained and it will not be the last conference for ratings.