Career Port Centre of Excellence

Executive Summary. Despite the effects of modernisation the maritime sector is still inherently labour intensive and there are large numbers of people with different fields of expertise working in port and shipping operations. In order to operate in effectively and efficiently in this heavy duty environment, protecting life and goods, a highly qualified workforce is essential. With this as the motivation we aimed to establish a training centre capable of giving port employees the necessary levels of education, knowledge and skills they need to fulfil the recognised requirements. The target workforce were the operators of the heavy load shifting machinery essential to all ports. Various courses would be available covering multiple crane and load moving machines as well as generic Health and Safety at Work. As well as increasing and certifying the personal skill levels of the port workers the centre will also fulfil the legal obligations imposed by government. The port industry in our country is growing rapidly. Existing ports are increasing capacity with new investments and new ports are coming online. The common requirement across both these scenarios is the urgent need for suitably qualified employees.  Onsite training is fraught with dangers, not just regarding diluted and diverse training standards but realistically dangers to life and limb as well as property in this world of complex heavy machinery. Clearly this need is most effectively fulfilled with a systematic and scheduled training scheme in a designed for purpose educational institution. With such training both existing port employees and new hires are able to learn all about their work in a safe, controlled environment.  In addition to the technical and safety aspects of the work, students are given rudimentary tuition in English as an aid when working machinery and perhaps enabling work assignments outside Turkey. Just as in all other sectors the investment in human resources is the shortest and most efficient way forward. This thinking was the catalyst for the Kocaeli Chamber of Commerce and Türklim, the national association of Turkish port operators, to form a partnership to provide just such an educational centre. Having started in 2016 the centre has now successfully certified some 200 trainees.