January 15, 2021 was a big day for Du Fuqiang, a 27-year-old young man from Tanchang County which used to be a poverty-stricken area in China’s Gansu Province. On this day, Du together with 19 other young men who all came from China’s inner land and never saw the sea before completed their training of seafarers at the National Western Maritime Training Base, Shaanxi Province, gaining a pass to the blue ocean and an opportunity to live another kind of life.
Du and his fellows attended the ASEAN-China Smart Ocean Practical Program four months ago and after finishing 434 class hours of study as required and passing 5 stage examinations, have mastered basic seaman skills like marine security knowledge, knot tying, heaving lines, etc.
“Thanks to the program, now I have the chance to become a sailor and see a different world from my hometown. The job will also help improve the life of my family,” said Du Fuqiang at the closing ceremony of the training program.
According to the training plan, the trainees who meet the demands will be recruited by famous shipping companies at home and abroad with a promised salary of no less than 1,600 dollars a month.
The ASEAN-China Smart Ocean Practical Program was organized by the ASEAN-China Smart Ocean Center (ACSOC) at Tianjin University’s School of Marine Science and Technology (SMST) and co-sponsored by Tianjin Maritime Safety Administration, the People’s Government of Tanchang County, Yan’an Vocational and Technical College, and Tianjin University of Technology. It aims to help young people from poverty-stricken areas in Gansu Province and Shaanxi Province to find new ways of living apart from some manual work like construction workers.
"In future, ACSOC will make full use of our marine education resource and organize more skill training programs for people in west China, especially those in less developed areas. We believe that helping people find suitable jobs is an efficient way to help them get rid of poverty,” said Ling Guowei, the Party Secretary of SMST.
By Eva Yin