The Management of Bernhard Schulte (BS), a Maritime Solutions Provider is collaborating with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) to provide Shipboard Training and create jobs for graduates of the University.
Currently, a total of 555 RMU graduates are sailing on over 60 BS vessels across the world.
Professor Elvis Nyarko, the Vice-Chancellor, RMU, at the Commissioning of a new BS/RMU office complex said among the 555 were 441 Ghanaians, 56 Nigerians, 31 Cameroonians, 21 Sierra Leoneans, five Gambians and a South African.
The new office complex, which cost GH¢2.1million was funded by BS.
He said this year, 43 more RMU selected cadets would be joining BS vessels immediately after graduation after Ghana’s borders were declared open by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Prof. Nyarko said the commissioning of the office marked another milestone in its journey with BS and was an indication of the growing interest in BS and even greater things to come.
The Vice-Chancellor said BS first made contact with RMU in 2012 under the then Rector of Mr Alock Asamoah and began crewing 12 students that year, followed by a selection of four students for 2012-2015.
He said in 2015, following his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, BS formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University to strengthen the cooperation with a commitment to grow intake of cadets into BS vessels by eight graduates per year, including Rating Trainees.
Prof. Nyarko said Management seeing the opportunity to provide the much needed and very essential shipboard training, which its sea-going students, who first trained as cadets, must undertake to qualify as professional seafarers, agreed without any hesitation, and allocated an office space to BS.
He said with the merger of BS and Bernhard Schulte Ship Management (BSM), and the setting-up of a local company in Ghana, there had been the need to further increase their presence in RMU.
“This is with the view to increasing their selection of more RMU graduates, therefore necessitating the expansion of the office space which has resulted in the construction of the office complex,” the Vice-Chancellor, added.
He commended Captain Nii Addo Addo, Lecturer/Cadet Crewing Coordinator, Mr Augustus Andy-Lamptey (immediate Past Provost), Mr Alock Asamoah (Former Rector, RMU) and Madam Eva Rodriduez, for their efforts in strengthening the collaboration.
Prof. Nyarko also commended the Chief Executive Officer of Vonnyborg Construction Company Limited, Mr. Samuel Borquaye, for ensuring the completion of the project in record time.
He expressed the hope that RMU and BS (now Schulte Group) would be able to achieve its target of crewing more than ten times the current number of RMU graduates undergoing Shipboard training onboard their ships.
The Vice-Chancellor said towards that end, RMU had allocated over a one-acre plot of land to the Schulte Group to construct their Africa Regional Office and Training Centre.
The project is estimated at four million USD dollars with the sod-cutting for that project jointly done by the then Board Chairman/ Chancellor of RMU, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, and the CEO of the Shulte Group Mr. Ian Beveridge.
“I will, therefore, encourage the Shulte Group to quicken their pace to commence that project as early as practicable,” he said.
Captain Joshua Nii Addo, representing the Schulte Group, said RMU had a very solid relationship with the Company and that the new facility further deepened their long-standing collaboration.
“This is a great transformation of a building, which hitherto was a wooden structure. It will largely impact the quality of education and the subsequent employability of students,” he said.
Captain Addo also commended the contractor for completing the project on schedule and assured that more infrastructural projects would be undertaken to enhance the activities of BS on campus.