Newly-released figures from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) reveal that a record number of shipping professionals around the world are choosing to sit the institute’s exams.
At a time when the industry is entering the early stages of recovery, the continued rise in numbers of students sitting the exams – and their increasingly diverse geographical spread – suggests that professional qualifications are more important than ever to industry practitioners.
London remains the most popular location to sit the exams but Athens has moved into second place for the first time. In third place is the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, where candidates from 11 East African countries are gathering to sit the exams.
The ICS reports that the total number of examinations expected to be sat in this academic year topped 6,000, breaking the record set in 2011/2012 of 5,838. Even stronger growth is found in the spread of accredited examination centres, which have grown from 75 to 95, a 25% increase.
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Director Julie Lithgow said: “This is another record year for the ICS examination programme and one that illustrates some global trends in maritime education. London remains our most popular location but the strong interest from Athens suggests that despite the problems there, students there still see shipping as an attractive industry for the future.
“In addition, the globalisation of our examination centres has continued. Mombasa is seeing investment in its ports and logistics infrastructure which is driving strong interest in our Foundation Diploma as the industry matures.”
Students in Athens will sit almost 1,000 exams over the coming fortnight and there have been increases at other key maritime centres including Mumbai, Dubai, Singapore, Colombo and for the first time, students are sitting exams in Tripoli.
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers President Robert Woods said: “The scope and breadth of qualifications offered by the ICS makes the Institute a unique force for professional education in the maritime industry. That role has been recognised once again this year and the increase in numbers demonstrates that even in difficult trading conditions, the industry views education as the key to future success.”
ICS delivers its main educational programme, TutorShip, directly from its London head office and through a further 16 distance learning centres worldwide. Students initially sit the Professional Qualifying Examination, after which they can apply for ICS membership, with all the career advantages and benefits that this offers.