TAIPEI—China currently has 1.55 million maritime laborers, the most in the world. It has 37 maritime schools, colleges, and institutions. Its scale and capacity to train laborers to work in a variety of jobs and on a variety of vessels is also number one in the world.
According to Xinhua net report, the deputy director of Maritime Safety Administration of Ministry of Transport, Liu Gongchen, said in the first National Assembly of the Development of Mariners that China has 510,000 sea crew members and more than 1 million river crew members. There are 170,000 senior seafarers of seagoing vessels. However, Liu said that China is still seriously short of maritime laborers. The overall quality of the mariners is not high. In the international seafarer labor market, China only ranks 4th, which accounts for about 4 percent of the market. Seafarers International Research Centre predicted that by 2015, there would be a shortage of 27,000 senior seafarers in the global shipping industry.
The director of the mariner's bureau, Li Enhong, said that there are 12 colleges and universities, 13 vocational high schools, and 12 secondary schools that offer maritime training programs in China. Last year more than 17,000 people were trained.
Li said that there are more than 50 professional training organizations that offer more than 7,000 training terms for mariners. They trained more than 200,000 people per year. The training capacity and scale is the largest in the world.
It is reported that the Department of Transportation also trains farmers, fishermen, and demobilized soldiers to be maritime laborers to help them make ends meet. In recent years, more than 30,000 fishermen have successfully transitioned into deckhands, stewards, and workers in the engine rooms as a result of training.