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Practical seafaring training of Hong Kong tertiary students on board Yu Kun13 August 2023 - 23 August 2023

Departed from Hong Kong for Dalian on 13 August 2023, 22 students from Maritime Services Training Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology participated in an 11-day Yu Kun Training Programme. The Programme was co-organised by Hong Kong Seamen's Union (HKSU) and Dalian Maritime University (DMU), with a sponsorship from the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund (MATF).

The Programme was inducted in 2018, targeting Hong Kong tertiary students who are studying maritime-related courses and are interested in a career in the ocean-going sector (including deck and engine departments). Affected by the epidemic, the Programme was suspended between 2020 and 2022. The Programme arranged participating students to board DMU's ocean-going training ship "M.V. Yu Kun" for undertaking seafaring training. In addition to classroom learning of nautical-related knowledge, Hong Kong students, teaming up with DMU students, also practised navigational watch at ship operation in accordance with the international convention on watchkeeping for seafarers. Having worked with experienced in-service seafarers, the students acquired practical skills that could not be learnt through textbooks.

The Programme has provided participating students with practical seafaring training and seaman life on board experience, to help them gain a better understanding of the real working environment of modern maritime industry. Moreover, the students were also arranged to visit other maritime training facilities of DMU and Dalian City for learning about the local history and culture, as well as exchanging with the mainland students to foster mutual learning. Students who had completed the Programme found themselves having been benefited immensely from the trip and it was an invaluable opportunity to broaden their horizons.

To commemorate the continual collaboration between HKSU and DMU on strengthening seafaring training for Hong Kong students, an agreement signing ceremony was held in Dalian on 14 August 2023. Representatives from the Transport and Logistics Bureau and Marine Department attended and witnessed the ceremony to continue support the co-organisers on the collaboration of maritime manpower training; and encourage students to make good use of this remarkable opportunity for practical training.