Transport Minister Marios Demetriades on Thursday pledged the government’s support for the first Maritime Academy in Cyprus, an initiative of the University of Nicosia.
Speaking at the academy’s presentation ceremony held at the Bernhard Schulte Ship management Maritime training centre in Limassol, Demetriades said that this was an effort that had the support not only of the government but of the shipping industry as well.
The academy, Demetriades said, is here to fill a gap, since “we all recognise that with the increase of companies that set up operations in Cyprus, a lack of staff has been seen, especially in professions that have to do with seafaring”.
This initiative, he said, has the active support of the government, as his ministry had approved last year a €330,000 financial support scheme for training cadet sailors, “which encourages companies to employ these people, so that they can acquire the necessary experience”.
In addition, he said, as of this year, scholarships totalling €45,000 will be given for degrees related to the shipping industry, which can also be claimed by the students of the new maritime academy.
“Depending on the response, this grant may be increased,” Demetriades said. Maritime professions are addressed to both men and women he said, and urged the youth to “escape the impression that they had in the past and to consider seriously the opportunity of a seafaring career because it offers both financial and professional satisfaction”.
The university (of Nicosia), he said, has also a scheme in place for the guaranteed employment of graduates of the academy. He also expressed his conviction that soon other universities will implement similar initiatives.