Publication: 11 / 9 / 2019
Greek merchant navy officer among endangered species, half of academies’ students do not graduate
One in two students at Greece’s Merchant Marine Academies in the period 2010-2015 did not graduate, according to the Maritime Ministry. Of the 7,309 enrollments in the five-year period, only 3,750 have graduated.

As a result of this deficit of Greek officers for their ships, Greek ship-owners are turning to foreign flags, as they note.
In order to have a Greek captain and one chief engineer in 90% of the Greek merchant fleet, and two other officers in the offices for each four ships, it is estimated by the Naval Chamber that at least 2,000 candidates should be admitted to the academies each year.

Ship owners suggest that the introduction system should change so that young people with a love for shipping are not excluded, notes Naftemporiki.
Due to the imbalance of supply and demand, the salaries of Greek officers have skyrocketed, ship owners added.
Officers, on the other hand, say that the skills of Greek seafarers are a guarantee of proper ship management.

The phenomenon of officer shortages is not only a Greek phenomenon and the demand supply imbalance is expected to increase in the coming years, as highlighted in the latest annual report of the Union of Greek Ship owners.

In order to retain the necessary knowledge and know-how the shipping must have a sufficient number of trained seafarers.
Among the latest efforts to attract more young people to the maritime profession stands out the four-year Skill Sea program launched this year with support from European funds.
It is implemented by European social partners in the field of shipping, such as the European Community Ship owners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers' Federation ETF. 

The program aims at adapting maritime education to maritime needs, promoting cooperation between schools and industry and anticipating future needs in know-how.

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