The newly built Sarawak Maritime Academy has officially commenced its operation and is to receive its first batch of students.
The new students will be pursuing a diploma course in Marine Engineering and Nautical Studies, which runs for two years.
Upon graduation, each student will receive a certificate of competency from the Malaysian Marine Department, which is a pre-requisite for any aspiring trainee who wish to work as a Marine Engineer or Navigating Officer on board of a ship.
The Sarawak Maritime Academy is the first of its kind in the east Malaysia, and is second overall in the country after the Malaysia Maritime Academy in Melaka. A total of RM25 million has been spent to build and set up the academy, spanning an area of 2.8 hectares. It is equipped with state-of-the art facilities and equipment, and meets all the standard requirements by the International Maritime Organization.
The institution is also set up with an aim to produce more local seafarers, especially in Sarawak, where the majority of the current qualified seafarers in the state today coming from overseas and neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Myanmar, India and Philippines.
The maritime academy can take about 400 trainees, and is able to provide 150 places for hostels and accommodation at one time.
The director of the academy, Captain Goh Chin Guan, an experienced maritime personnel, told that maritime industry pays good salary, with a qualified cadet officer earning between $5,000 to $10,000 while a captain can earn as much as $15,000 per month.