Blue Riband

In this area, you can comment on employers, trends, jobs, rumors affecting the jobs and job prospect of Marine Engineers.
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JollyJack
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Blue Riband

Postby JollyJack » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:26 am

I noted the following statement on the face page of this site, with reference to something called "Blue Riband":

"Many new ideas are proposed as possible solutions to the shortage of Marine Engineers in Canada."

There will be no shortage of Marine Engineers, or of any other crew, in Canada once the Act and Regulations are amended. I submit this theory for your consideration. The Marine Personnel Regulations part II stipulates safe manning levels on Canadian ships concerning Certificates of Competence, endorsements required etc.

section 202 says:

202. (2) If one of the safe manning requirements established in accordance with subsection (1) sets out that a person shall hold a certificate, the certificate shall be

(a) issued or endorsed by the Administration; and

(b) endorsed as meeting the requirements of the STCW Convention.

So a Certificate required by the Safe Manning Document must be a Canadian Certificate on a Canadian ship. A Canadian Certificate is only issued to "qualified persons", as specified in section 111(a) of the MPR, vis:

111. Before a certificate of competency or an endorsement is issued to an applicant, the applicant shall provide the examiner with

(a) proof that the applicant is a qualified person

A "qualified person" is defined in the Canada Shipping Act 2001, section 2 vis:

“qualified person”

« personne qualifiée »

“qualified person” means

(a) a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;

Sections 87 and 88 of the Act says:

87. Every person who is employed on board a Canadian vessel in a position in respect of which a certificate is required under this Part shall hold the certificate and comply with its terms and conditions.

Marginal note:Eligibility
88. (1) Only a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may hold a certificate of competency that is issued under this Part.


You think you have it covered. Canada, by policy, does not recognise any other Certificates of Competency from any other country, STCW or not, as valid certificates for Canadian ships. But wait......

Section 89 (1) of the Canada Shipping Act 2001 says:

89. (1) If the government of a foreign state has entered into a reciprocal arrangement with the Government of Canada to accept certificates of competency issued under this Part in lieu of certificates of competency of that state and if the Minister is satisfied that the requirements under the laws of the foreign state for a certificate of competency meet or exceed the requirements under this Act, the Minister may direct, subject to any conditions that the Minister specifies, that the foreign certificate may be accepted in lieu of a certificate of competency issued under this Part.

"THE MINISTER MAY DIRECT......THAT THE FOREIGN CERTIFICATE MAY BE ACCEPTED"

All it would take is for China (or any other third world country) to issue Certificates under STCW chapter III, (and they all do) accept Canadian Certificates of Competence and "enter into a reciprocal agreement" with Canada, and you'll have all kinds of third world Engineers on all kinds of Canadian ships working for wages between the $9 a day and $150 a day currently being offered by crewing agencies in the Middle East and Far East.

And don't think for a New York minute that this will never happen! The industry is in a race to the bottom.

All of this info is in the public domain on Justice Canada's site:

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts ... ml#docCont

"It's all about the money, and only the money, all the time" Kevin O'Leary, CBC "Dragon's Den"
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JollyJack
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby JollyJack » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:33 am

Incidentally Martin, why can't I view the Blue Riband discussions?
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Wyatt
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby Wyatt » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:37 am

Thanks for this education Jolly Jack, sure am glad you are on top of this. I was unaware of this, but am going to try and investigate further. I agree with you 100%, foreign nationals will be the safety net the industry is seeking, to the detriment to all of us.

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The Dieselduck
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Blue Riband not needed, cheap crews on the way...

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:41 pm

I had some issues with that area of the board, being locked by password, which evaded me for some time. I have fixed this some time back, but your cookies may prevent you from accessing this area. What you will need to do is use the "Delete all board cookies" option at the bottom right hand of this page. This will purge the past settings and you should be able to see and post to the Blue Riband area at will.

In answering your comment, first off, thanks for the input; I understand your meaning, and that douchebag O'Leary, in my view, is wrong. In his world of fake wealth and leeching off the back of hard work done by others, this attitude flies, but I believe there is a genuine need and want for a different approach - as we see these bullshit empires this attitude breeds- are simply not sustainable. Perhaps naive you say, and yes there is certainly lots of examples that there is race to the bottom in shipping, but I am not so certain that Canadian licenses are deserving of high accolades either.

Blue Riband is not about the short term needs of shipboard engineering officers, but rather a much longer view of the whole ship management structure and its access to competent human capital - well beyond the confines of shipboard duties. These douchebags moneygrubbers concerned about short term profiteering, well of course they will not understand this. It is a leap of faith to a certain degree, but really its a acknowledgement that we need to work together, with shipowners and regulators, on an alternative, otherwise, yes, you might want to bring in a (name a remote poverty stricken war torn hellhole) crew right away to commandeer a Canadian flagged vessel through the St Lawrence Seaway or across Hecate Strait. I personally don't see a problem with this, as long as competence is demonstrated, and that they pay the same Canadian taxes I pay.

Excellent comment, thanks for starting the discussion...

I have moved the discussion over to the appropriate areas of the Blue Riband discussion forum. Please let me know if you have further issues with logging into that area.
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page
http://www.dieselduck.net

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JollyJack
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby JollyJack » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:25 am

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaacckk!
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JK
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby JK » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:30 am

I fully admit to not following crewing issues, but I thought Canadian ships, Canadian crews in Canadian waters and it was a law, not regulations. Or was it regulation?

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JollyJack
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby JollyJack » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:43 am

The Law is the CSA 2001, the Act, subordinate legislation is the Marine Personnel Regulations.

Sections 87 and 88 of the Act says:

87. Every person who is employed on board a Canadian vessel in a position in respect of which a certificate is required under this Part shall hold the certificate and comply with its terms and conditions.

Marginal note:Eligibility
88. (1) Only a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may hold a certificate of competency that is issued under this Part.


You think you have it covered. Canada, by policy, does not recognise any other Certificates of Competency from any other country, STCW or not, as valid certificates for Canadian ships. But wait......

Section 89 (1) of the Canada Shipping Act 2001 says:

89. (1) If the government of a foreign state has entered into a reciprocal arrangement with the Government of Canada to accept certificates of competency issued under this Part in lieu of certificates of competency of that state and if the Minister is satisfied that the requirements under the laws of the foreign state for a certificate of competency meet or exceed the requirements under this Act, the Minister may direct, subject to any conditions that the Minister specifies, that the foreign certificate may be accepted in lieu of a certificate of competency issued under this Part.

"THE MINISTER MAY DIRECT......THAT THE FOREIGN CERTIFICATE MAY BE ACCEPTED"

It says Canadians only on Canadian ships, then goes on to say "the minister may direct......... that the foreign Certificate may be accepted."

The Act trumps the Regulation and the regulation trumps the TP.
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JollyJack
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby JollyJack » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:12 am

"but I am not so certain that Canadian licenses are deserving of high accolades either."

tut tut Martin, the standard of Canadian STCW Certificates is among the highest in the world, we exceed the requirements for STCW considerably. Compare the requirements of, say STCW III/2, for unlimited 2nd and 1st Class Engineers with the same standards set in TP 2293. We are 'way ahead there. Same for STCW III/1, watchkeeping Engineer (4M) and STCW III/3, limited Chief and Second Engineers (3MN). Our ERR standard is far in advance of STCW III/4 (Engine Room Rating). The only place where we do fall down is in that we do not, at present, require an English language examination.....but it's coming!

Restricted domestic Certificates which are non STCW are in a different catagory and cannot be compared to international standards, they are tailored to the domestic market. (3M, WKEMDFV and SVMO for example) Canadian Engineers are employed all over the world, from Oz to the Gulf, Brazil to the Arctic and Vietnam to the North Sea. The Canadian STCW Certificate of Competence, at any level, is accepted by any flag administration anywhere in the world, which speaks to the high regard in which we are held by the international shipping world. (I have sailed on Brit, Irish, Panama, Liberia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, US, Antigua, Vanuatu, Bermuda, Bahamas and Barbados flag ships, among others, all recognizing my Canadian Certificate)

Now I'm not talking about deck Certificatation, which needs different tickets for red boats and blue boats and small boats and middle boats and big boats, over 150 tons, and yellow boats less than 3000 sailing in puddles and coves. I'm talking about Engineering Certificates recognized world wide.
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The Dieselduck
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Re: Blue Riband

Postby The Dieselduck » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:32 am

Hello Jolly Jack,

I'm sorry about the late reply, I have been swamped with projects and tasks, and wanted to make sure I gave a, hopefully thought out, reply to your input. We obviously have a variance in opinion and I hope I can convey my thought for your further input.

Yes, I too consider the Canadian license to be a indication of a competent individual. This has been demonstrated to me during my time sailing aboard cruise ships for several years. This is the case especially for those sailing foreign going. But I am not entirely convince this reputation is deserving strictly on the basis of the license requirements as stipulated by our regulations. I proposed that it may instead be due to the passion and positive spirit required by individual engineers to progress through the Canadian system, rather then the "high" standards.

I don't disagree to aim above the basic IMO requirements, is an admirable and important goal, but it should not be done at the expense of a chock hold on our careers. In Blue Riband I am proposing that we strive for higher competence by active, ongoing training, not necessarily mandated by regulations. This I believe is a much more responsive way to address the rapid changes in shipboard techniques and technology.

I was just speaking with a instructor at one of the leading cadet training institutions, who is frustrated because he is having to justify why he is teaching modern turbocharging service techniques to engineering cadets, with the help of industry. His management questions whether this is worthwhile, because TC does not stipulated it. Turbo servicing training is very worthwhile and timely, to the cadet and their employers, as I see it. I think it would be more responsive and worthwhile for Transport Canada, or Blue Riband, address changes at the training stage rather than the vetting stage - ie exams.

I think the current licensing system fails to recognize that times have changed. The clear majority of today's engineers, come from an established cadet program. This is obviously much different than it was say 20-30 years ago where there was a way for someone to walk off the street, and make to first class without formal training; this is why the exam system came about, I assume. But now we train differently, early on in the career, an engineer is equipped with the basics required for the job - like all professions, yet we continued to build on top of requirements. So yes we exceed standards, but just because we have lots, does it make it better?

And lets face it, how practical is it for a experienced engineer to be tested on his ability to build Wheatstone bridge these days. Or even have to calculate resistance from the colour bands and repair electronics, the realities are that I would never allow myself or any of my engineers to tinker with the circuit board of my soft start, if you could actually get to it in the first place. So you say, we should know about the fundamentals of electronics, and yes you are absolutely right, that's why this is done in the formal training currently given to cadets. Overall, especially in electrotech I find the exam, to which we expect cadets to be thought to, are woefully inadequate, not even covering the basic realities of current on board practices and systems such as PLC, networks, control systems etc; and not even touching on the ever increasing popularity of diesel electric power plants aboard.

I believe that Canadians should be able to be on equal footing to our international peers. I don't believe anyone would generally characterize Norwegians engineers as substandard, in my experience, they are competent and have demonstrate to me that their training builds solid foundation for building and running safe, modern and innovative ships.

Yet, from what I understand (because it is hard to compare apple to apples) they don't have this onerous overburden of having to do 9 exams for their second class license. Each of these exams generally requiring at least one month of intense studying to adequately prepare for the exam. They work in the appropriate capacity, get their sea time vetted, and are issued the next license with limited re-examination. This allows them to progress through the shipboard ranks at a reasonable time frame, allowing them to move ashore with more predictability. In Canada this is not the case, and in my view is causing irreparable damage to industry due to this major career roadblock.

If we are not able to address this in a timely fashion we will run out of engineers in Canada, and we will be forced to adopt different policies to keep Canadian ships operating. The obvious choice as already discussed, altering or removing Cabotage regulations and allow an influx of foreign tickets or ships, and I am not sure we are entirely prepared for the consequences of this. No matter what, trade must move, it is too vital to the overall economy, but removing citizenship and or licence requirements will only provide temporary relief to ship operators.

Even if the operator and regulator are able to implement this strategy in Canadian waters, which will take a major commitment, eventually ship operators will need to integrate this workforce into the important decision making process ashore, in the office. As I learned in my Engine Resource Management Training, people who come from different places have different priorities and values. They have different way of doing things and this must be considered in the big picture. Some may not want to settle in Canada or change their culture.

So those managers ashore, who have built their empires based on set expectations based on the old model, must be willing to shift their thinking in the way we do business - to recognizing and accommodate the differences of a new Canadian moving into a North American corporate culture. I think there is plenty of evidence that this is occurring as we speak, and I am not sure we can characterize it as a success. I think there is a general feel that new Canadian are somewhat inferior, I would propose that this is due to a lack of proper integration into their new roles in Canada, not because of abilities. I believe this is causing some unnecessary friction, easily dismissed as racism. I think its an inability of Canadian organization, to properly integrate these new engineer into the Canadian mould, that organizations have grown accustomed to.

Sorry, I got off track a bit, but I think to pat ourselves on the back and is great, but we must look at the big picture and say, are we really achieving what we want? what is needed? And if not, what are the consequences? those are some of the questions that I hopefully address in the above.
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page
http://www.dieselduck.net


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