Seafarers ensure safe operation and manage vessel operations, the very basis of our business. In this section, we look at our basic policy, and what MOL is doing to care for seafarers and their families.
MOL's Basic Policy
A key policy in MOL's current midterm management plan, which covers the period from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012, is to "secure skilled seafarers and keep them well trained." MOL's seafarers crew approximately 300 vessels. The large majority of our seafarers are from more than 20 countries other than Japan; Japanese seafarers account for only around 3% of our seagoing employees. MOL therefore employs and promotes skilled individuals from around the world, irrespective of nationality. MOL pays due consideration to this diverse, multinational workforce in terms of the working environment on-board and on shore as well as remuneration and benefits. At the same time, we run high-level development and training programs to produce outstanding seafarers who are highly motivated and possess the excellent skills and knowledge we require.
Employing Diverse Human Resources
We have established bases for recruiting, training and developing seafarers around the world. We have also set up a scholarship system at overseas maritime academies to support aspiring seafarers. For people from countries who cannot acquire specialist maritime certifications, we have also introduced a cadet system so that students can gain the necessary experience for earning qualifications. Promising young seafarers from various countries who have received such support will be employed as personnel who have the potential to be key MOL members for safe operation in the future. Meanwhile, in Japan people other than graduates from maritime schools and universities can still acquire specialist maritime qualifications after joining the company.
Education and Training for Seafarers
Developing and securing a stable workforce of excellent seafarers who meet MOL's skill standards is a crucial point in maintaining safe operations. MOL has established the "MOL Rank Skill Training and Evaluation Program," a training and education program that sets skill and knowledge requirements for every seafarer at the front-line according to his/her position. Every seafarer of the MOL Group must work through this program as a requirement for promotion. MOL also has crew training centers in eight locations in six countries. These MOL training centers provide a variety of training, ranging from classroom lectures on theory to practice using real engines and various simulators. This training enables seafarers to operate the latest on-board equipment and machinery and to comply with new laws and regulations. In the Philippines, which supplies more than half of MOL's seafarers, we have introduced an officer candidate program for students selected from seven partner maritime colleges, who are trained for two years at company training facilities for the second half of their college education, subject to approval from the Commission on Higher Education.
Training Ship Utilization
One initiative unique to MOL is the ownership and operation of the training ship Spirit of MOL as a training facility for educating new seafarers on the basics of safe operation. Graduates of maritime academies selected by the company learn specialist maritime knowledge and skills through safety and practical training, and by living together with other cadets of various nationalities, they develop pride and a sense of belonging as members of the MOL Group.
* Training Ship Spirit of MOL retired in March 2013.
Earlier, MOL launched a new training program called Cadet Actual Deployment for Education with Tutorial (CADET Training), which takes over the spirit and know-how developed during the six years of training done on the Spirit of MOL.
MOL Press Release:
Training Ship Spirit of MOL Retired - Mission Accomplished, Fully Transferred to New CADET Training Program -
The Role Expected of MOL Seafarers
After employment, MOL seafarers engage not only in ship operation but also duties that support operations such as land- based vessel and seafarer management, and providing the required technical support for cargo handling. Such land-based positions are open broadly to all the seafarers, and many seafarers support the company's safe operations from the land using their experience at sea in various locations that are not their homelands, such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and the U.K. In the case of Japanese seafarers, for the first 10 or so years of their careers, they concentrate on serving aboard ships and accumulate competence as future captains and chief engineers. These employees may then either take up land-based positions where they utilize their experience, or follow their career paths by serving aboard various types of vessels. Thus, MOL seafarers are required to serve as all-around players to lead the whole MOL Group.
A Good Working Environment for MOL Seafarers and Care for Their Families
As part of measures to create a good working environment for seafarers, MOL is running safety training programs and ceaselessly improving working environments with the aim of eradicating work-related accidents (lost time injuries). Furthermore, with a maritime labor convention imposing strict requirements to manage on-vessel work scheduled to come into force, MOL is making preparations to implement changes before this convention becomes effective. In terms of welfare, MOL conducts regular health checks and mental health consultations for seafarers. At the same time, MOL cares for seafarers and their families, who must spend considerable time apart. MOL has established consulting offices for seafarers and their families in each location overseas, and offers services that are closely tailored to particular countries and regions. Moreover, MOL is introducing high-speed Internet connections aboard vessels to make it more convenient for seafarers to exchange e-mail with family and friends during voyages. In addition to the above, seafarers who have demonstrated leadership and made notable achievements in terms of safety or efficiency of vessel operation are invited every year along with their families to the head office in Tokyo to receive commendations from the president of MOL.