Seafarer Recruitment in Full Swing- As Maritime vets more than 500 Applicants

The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) on Saturday, May 12, 2012 administered an aptitude test to 511 applicants, mostly high school graduates, who recently applied for the five-month General Purpose Ratings (GPR) Courses to be offered shortly at the Liberia Marine Training Institute in Marshall City, Margibi County.

The Purpose of the aptitude test according to LiMA sources is to assess, screen and select the best and brightest among the applicants in order to set the pace for the recruitment and training of up to 10,000 seafarers. The aptitude test, which comprised English and Mathematics, was administered over a period of three (3) hours at the William V.S. Tubman High School Campus on 12th Street. As expected, the test was given and monitored in an orderly and organized fashion.

Speaking about the significance of the aptitude test, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Mr. Binyah C. Kesselly told applicants that it was necessary to identify those with potential and excellent abilities, and train them in order to kick off the mammoth task of training up to 10,000 seafarers. ''Discipline and respect are expected of you when you are aboard a vessel. You represent the Liberian flag and whatever behavior you exhibit reflects directly on your country, Liberia. If I will be hated for this, I won’t lose a sleep over it but no one is going to taint the reputation we have built over the years in the shipping world……no! Not on my watch.'', Mr. Kesselly in a rather serious tone averred.

It can be recalled that Mr. Kesselly during a weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism stated that the Liberia Maritime Authority will over the next four years train and seek employment for up to 10,000 young Liberian seafarers between the ages of 18 and 30 years. Said Mr. Kesselly at the Press Briefing: ''I have the support of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Maritime Authority and the Maritime Committees of both the House and the Senate towards the achievement of this goal. It’s an embarrassment that Liberia, which has the second largest shipping registry in the world can’t boast of more than 50 trained and certified seafarers''. Mr. Kesselly further stated: ''We are poised to see the accomplishment of this goal and the entire management team at Maritime is very involved with this initiative. We can assure the Liberian people that the president's promise of job creation will be hugely supported by this initiative.'' He concluded.

Four applicants, a female and three males were disqualified from taking the test for acts inconsistent with the rules and standards of the test. A little over hundred applicants will be drawn based on test scores and other criteria to begin the 5-month intensive course at the newly renovated Liberia Marine Training Institute. According to LMTI authorities, this process is an ongoing one until the threshold of 10,000 is met over the next four years. Successful candidates from this phase of the screening are expected to be notified within the next two weeks.

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