The Workboat Academy and Houston Marine, a member of the Falck Alford Group, have signed an agreement to offer the Workboat Mate Program at the Houston Marine’s campus in New Orleans. Classes are scheduled to begin during the fall of 2012. The Workboat Mate Program is currently being offered at the MITAGS-PMI campuses in Baltimore and Seattle.
The Workboat Mate Program, a two-year vocational program, includes 360 days at sea with a partner company in a billeted position and 26 weeks of classroom time. Upon successful completion of the program and the USCG exam, cadets will obtain a Mate 500GRT Oceans / 1600 GRT Near Coastal, an AB limited and a Mate of Towing, if employed on a tugboat. Cadets sailing on offshore supply vessels will obtain a Mate 1600 GRT Oceans and will obtain an AB-OSV rating after one year.
The Workboat Academy prescreens all candidates and matches them with a company apprenticeship. Cadets, however, are responsible for paying their own tuition. The prerequisite for potential candidates is to have a strong passion for the maritime industry and a high school diploma or equivalent.
“The Workboat Mate program continues to grow” said Marja van Pietersom, Assistant Director for the Workboat Academy. “There are now more than 30 company partners that have joined the program since its inception in 2006. Today, we have about 200 graduates and approximately 90% are still working for the companies they apprenticed with. We are expecting our first graduates to sail as master in 2012.”
In a testimonial by Jimmy Skiles, Executive Vice President of Laborde Marine, he says; “We are very pleased with the quality of the cadets from the Workboat Academy. Our company has found an exceptional resource for recruiting seafarers and quickly moving them up into the wheelhouse.”