It’s been a busy and fun fall semester on our campus! We’re well into the 150 Tons Mate and Master, Watchkeeping Mate, and Bridge Watch Rating programs. We’ve also welcomed a host of Marine Emergency Duties, Marine First Aid, and radio operator students over the last 8 weeks of classes. Here are a few pictures from September and October classes.
The 2014/2015 school year looks to be an exciting year of growth for Western Maritime Institute (WMI). In the fall and winter semesters, WMI will be rolling out several new Transport Canada accredited courses. Building on the success of the past thirteen years, the Ladysmith, B.C. based maritime college will add the Watch Keeping Mate – Near Coastal, Master 500 Gross Tonnage Domestic, Fishing Master Third Class, and Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate courses to its offerings.
For those seafarers choosing a career on larger deep-sea ships or coastal ferries, the entry-level course is the Watch Keeping Mate (WKM) certificate. Requiring three years of sea time, the WKM certificate expands on the mariner’s knowledge which they may have gained from their Master 150 Gross Tonnage certificate. This is a 20-week training certificate running from September to March.
For those mariners aiming to follow a career within the Canadian coastal industry, WMI will offer the Master 500 Gross Tonnage certificate this year with plans to expand to the Master 3000 Gross Tonnage certificate in 2015. The Master 500 gross tonnage and the Master 3000 gross tonnage certificates will prepare the mariner for the newer class of vessel that will be associated with the development of the LNG export terminals in northern B.C. and the larger fish factory ships cropping up on the B.C. coast.
Major changes are coming to the certification requirements for the fishing industry. The introduction of the STCW F (Fishing) will see a total revamping of Fishing Master Certificates in 2015. In the interim, WMI will offer the Fishing Master Third and Fourth class and position our alumni to take advantage of the new regulatory environment.
The four new Certificates of Competency will enhance Western Maritime Institute’s ability to provide excellence in marine education to a wider range of seafarers poised to take their careers to the next level.
The new certificates will be offered in the fall and winter sessions alongside existing courses, including WMI’s 12-week long Bridge Watch Rating Program for entry-level deckhands, as well as the Master 150 Gross Tonnage Certificate, Fishing Master Fourth Class, and Watchkeeping Mate of a Fishing Vessel Certificate (to 24 metres) for seasoned seafarers.
Many of Western Maritime Institute’s certificates are eligible for student aid or skills upgrading funding through various provincial and federal programs. The Ladysmith, B.C. campus is conveniently equipped with on-campus housing for out-of-town students.
Western Maritime Institute is Canada’s largest Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, and Industry Canada-approved private marine training Institute. All instructors have years of industry experience, are individually accredited by Transport Canada for the courses they teach, and hold approved Provincial teaching credentials. The fully-equipped campus includes a fire-fighting and survival craft training simulators, making it one of only two campuses in Western Canada to include these facilities. Course offered at the institute range from entry level Marine Emergency Duties training and training for new deckhands to Watchkeeping Mate, and various certifications for Fishing Masters, electronic navigation, and radio training. With campuses located in Ladysmith and Richmond, B.C., as well as the ability to bring the classroom to communities all over Canada, the institute is greatly accessible to seafarers all over Canada.