Surge in shipping students proves robustness of the sector

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012

The shipping industry is investing in training. Newly released statistics from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), which celebrated its centenary in 2011, show shipping bucking the trend in terms of cuts to training budgets. While recent figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) revealed a fall of 20% in training budgets in 2011, ICS examination registrations are up 44%.

The ICS 2012 figures for the number of examinations being undertaken are in sharp contrast to the downbeat maritime industry forecasts for the medium to long term. The ICS is experiencing a record year in examination registrations with 5,838 already confirmed compared to 4,061 in 2011. Furthermore, the qualifications offered by ICS are receiving increased global recognition with 75 examination centres in 46 countries across six continents.

This increase provides solid evidence that despite a global shipping recession, with the threat of darker times to come, the maritime industry and individuals recognise the value of investment in sector-specific education and training.

This exceptional increase is further evidence that internationally, maritime businesses are heeding professional advice to maintain and/or increase training budgets and not cut them during recessionary times in order to emerge fitter from an economic downturn.

The Director of ICS, Julie Lithgow commented: "It is very encouraging to see an increased commitment to quality training from both the maritime industry and individuals seeking recognition as maritime professionals. This significant increase in examination registrations is indicative of the ability of the maritime industry to look to the future during austere times."

The ICS Chairman, Tony Dixon added: "I am delighted with this news. International trade is the backbone of the globally economy and shipping is a major player in facilitating that. The shipping industry is steeped in tradition and very used to weathering the financial ups and downs so it is no surprise to me to see this industry looking forward and not astern."

The professional examinations provided by ICS mark the start of the path to ICS membership and cover 16 subject areas from Legal Principles to Terminal Management. All examinations - Foundation and Advanced Diplomas, as well as Professional Qualifying Examinations - are undertaken in April every year. Registration for April 2012 is now closed.

Editors notes:

The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) was established in 1911and received Royal Charter in 1920.

ICS is the only internationally recognised professional educational body in the maritime arena and represents shipbrokers, ship managers and agents worldwide.

ICS is based in the heart of the City of London and has 25 branches in key shipping locations worldwide with 4,000 individual and 120 company members.

ICS membership represents a commitment to maintaining the highest professional standards across the shipping industry.

Learning is available in a variety of ways. TutorShip is a distance learning programme which provides the options of studying at your own pace but is also offered in 16 Distance learning centres worldwide.

ICS is a provider of education and training through the publication of 16 training syllabuses and the setting of examinations. Successful completion of ICS examinations is the only route for high quality shipping professionals to be awarded chartered shipbroker status.