Members attending the UK branch conference voted in favour of a motion calling for Nautilus to investigate ways to support newly qualified officers who find themselves without key certification after training with 'tonnage tax companies'.
The motion stated that many cadets had to look for new companies to take them on as third officers – often in sectors away from that in which they trained – due to certain companies not employing UK officers once they had qualified.
Proposing the motion, Fraser Matthew told the conference that seafarers are missing out on employment opportunities because of this, and they often ended up having to pay for these extra qualifications out of their own pocket.
CVs are vetted and the easiest way they can do that is by looking at what qualifications are listed. If a seafarer has not been employed in the passenger industry, or on an oil tanker for example, they will not have certain qualifications. Fraser Matthew
'Recruitment firms don't look at the individual, they look at how appropriate that individual is for that role at that time. If they don't have a certain piece of training they will have to do it at their own expense.
'I urge the Union to encourage the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) to review what is included in the MNTB cadetship programme and include these courses that aren't resource dependent and allow cadets to come out with all their boxes ticked.'
His views were echoed by senior national secretary Allen Graveson who said that whilst it identified a problem it didn't hit at the cause.
'The cause of the problem is the abuse with respect to tonnage tax and SMarT funding which affects the employment prospects of the cadets at the end of their cadetships,' he explained.