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Number of posts returned: 21 to 31 records of 31

Kevin Hunt: Five Years At METL

Last year when we passed my four year anniversary I remember joking that it would only be twenty minutes until I hit five years and had to write another one of these - and that seems about right.

The past year has been busy for METL. The setup of the METL RTO has been ramping up, with the building being completed and the red tape currently being handled to commence delivery in the near future.

Separate to that our GTO operations have been continuing. The downturn in the industry has led METL to reduce the number of trainees we are putting through to the minimum required by our Host Employers, but we have been continuing nonetheless.

CSL, our longest-running Host Employer, has recently started out another group of trainees who will serve their seatime exclusively aboard CSL vessels. This is the second year that CSL have committed to hosting a group of trainees solely aboard their vessels, rather than having them rotate through swings with other Host Employers in addition to CSL. This exclusive hosting provides the TIRs with a deeper understanding of CSL vessel operations and company culture, in addition to building up a series of performance reviews that can be taken into consideration for future employment opportunities with CSL.

Kevin Hunt: METLs Operation Officer

On top of that there has been a recent update to the IR training package, which always lends itself to extra work when we bring on unemployed TIRs to complete their seatime. That extra work is worth it, though, since it means we’re able to assist a seafarer from within the industry who’s having a hard go of it finding somewhere to complete the required seatime to achieve their IR ticket.

We’re also slated to run through a GTO audit in a few months, which is always an interesting experience for us, since we’re the only dedicated maritime GTO in Australia. In many instances this means we find ourselves experiencing a ‘square peg in a round hole’ scenario with regards to the Australian training framework that we operate within. Having said that, we’ve set up a great system here, and expect to easily meet audit requirements, as we did during the previous audit a couple of years ago.

Since we’re talking about meeting requirements I’ll also take the opportunity to pat METL on its collective back, since we have recently been advised that METL has been confirmed once again as a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace. The process of reaccreditation was just as rigorous as the initial application, with a large spread of evidence being provided to show that METL as an organisation, and we as employees, lived and breathed the White Ribbon message of ending violence against women in Australia.

We’re already up to August at this point, which seems to have happened overnight, so I’ll see you in another twenty minutes for the next of these updates.

Posted in Ahoy at 27 July 17

METL Maritime Training Centre Update

Following the practical completion of construction and official opening of the METL Maritime Centre in April, the builder and various trades have been engaged to rectify minor defects.

Side view of METL Maritime Centre

“We’re happy with the result,” said CEO, Simon Earle. “The architect has designed some really functional spaces, with a good balance of professional and industrial style, and the builder has done a great job transforming that vision into a reality.”

RTO Operations Manager Rob Simm adds: “The classrooms are decent sizes and upstairs we have the flexibility of 2 full-size rooms, which can open into a large theatre-style space. We plan to make the facility available to third parties who might need a training room, meeting room or office space on a day-by-day basis.”

Our classrooms

The next phase of the build, preparation of the warehouse floor, has commenced. This is where the hands-on application of the knowledge delivered in the classroom will occur, and ultimately, it is here where competency will be assessed. “This space is critical in METL determining whether the people we train can be signed off as competent, and be issued with the appropriate statements of attainment and licences” says Rob Simm.

The 1400m2 of warehouse floor has been designed to accommodate concurrent delivery of multiple high-risk training and assessment sessions without compromising on safety. Being indoors, it will be possible to operate in all weather. The floor is currently being sanded, and demarcation zones painted prior to finishing. Rob Simm explains, “We’ll have forklifts driving on here, cranes shifting loads, scaffolding being erected. The warehouse floor is probably the most important element of the build and needs to be able to stand the test of time.” Fencing, bollards and barriers will also be installed to maintain safe access and separation of training zones.


The warehouse floor getting a makeover 

The gallery



Posted in Ahoy at 26 June 17

METL Appoints New Industry Director

We are pleased to welcome Kerrie Simpson to the position of Industry Director on the METL Board.

Kerrie brings a wealth of Vocational Educational and Training (VET) expertise to METL, having established and managed her own Registered Training Organisation (RTO) from 1995 to 2011. She has also provided training consultancy services to a range of industries, including maritime, sharing her 30 years’ experience as a company owner and director, designer, facilitator and project manager.

“As METL looked to expand our offering to industry through the RTO, it was important to appoint a Director who could add value in that space through their knowledge, skills and networks,” said METL CEO Simon Earle.

METL Chair Paddy Crumlin echoed those sentiments, adding, “The Board looks forward to working with Kerrie and we are sure that she will bring a lot to the table. METL is a training organisation, and with representation from the shipowners, representation from the union and now representation from the training sector, METL is very well positioned to meet the needs of our industry into the future.”

METL Industry Director Kerrie Simpson.

Posted in Ahoy at 29 May 17

Two Years Injury Free

METL is pleased to report that it is approaching the 2 year mark having been completely free of any serious injury with zero LTI’s. There have been no claims for workers compensation since 2015, with the last trainee recuperating fully and returning to complete their seatime without further incident.

Such an extended period without any serious incidents is a real achievement in a vocational education setting that has trainees actively learning the practical aspects of their roles in high risk environments.

“According to Safe Work Australia, in the last reported period 15% of technicians and trade workers, and 10% of labourers, had a claim submitted” says METL GTO officer Hannan El-Kabbout “and those statistics are reporting only on the field of work, they don’t split the numbers into experienced workers vs trainees/apprentices. Generally, rates are higher among unexperienced works”.

With this in mind, METL has always had a strong focus on the safety and welfare of its trainees. At every stage the message is reinforced with trainees that the most important consideration in any situation is their health and safety. Trainees are scheduled to be contacted twice per swing to go through a monitoring session with METL, and these always include questions about the work they’re doing, safety procedures, and the supervision they receive.

“On top of the standard monitoring with trainees, we also reinforce the understanding that they play the primary role in their own workplace safety”, notes METL Operations Officer Kevin Hunt “They know that as an active crew member they contribute to the safety culture on board, and that at the end of the day we’ll support them in providing a safe work environment.”

METL trainees being safety conscious

Of course there are also many other factors contributing to this extended incident-free period. The colleges delivering the IR course have a strong emphasis on safety, with the aim that all the participants have the skills and knowledge needed to allow them to join a vessel and commence their practical training with a good grounding in shipboard safety and operations.

In addition to this is the noteworthy supervision and training provided by the crews on board the trainees’ host vessels. METL receives regular feedback from the trainees as to their progress on board. Rarely is there any cause for complaint from our trainees, most of whom actually cite an unexpected level of support from the crew members they are working alongside. After several years operating as Hosts for METL trainees, crews on these vessels have become solid mentors - taking the time to walk trainees through the technical aspects of jobs, assisting with their academic requirements, and most of all ensuring their newest crewmates are safe while they learn the ropes.

“We’ve all heard the saying safety is everyone’s responsibility, and its true” says Operations Officer Kevin Hunt. “We have actually seen our Host Employers over time implementing continual improvements to systems and procedures, driven by employees at all levels – on vessels and in the head office. That’s played a big part.”

METL would like to give a big thank you to everyone involved in the safety of our trainees, and hopes that everyone’s diligence continues to give such positive results.

Posted in Ahoy at 18 May 17

Hannan El-kabbout: 3 Years at METL

In an extraordinary feat of human endurance, Hannan El-kabbout, GTO/Finance Officer clocked up 3 years with METL this April.

Hannan joined METL with a solid background in group training and apprenticeships/traineeships, having started her career as a Business Certificate III Trainee with a GTO in 2009. After completing that certificate, Hannan broadened her skills by undertaking a Financial Services (bookkeeping) Certificate IV traineeship.

"Hannan has been a real asset to us, and the industry", says CEO, Simon Earle. "That combination of having worked for other GTO's and actually going through traineeships herself, means she understands the system, how to maximise trainee funding, and to solve problems that exist to get results."

Hannan commended with METL as Administration Officer in April 2014 and having demonstrated her capability, was quickly promoted to GTO Officer in June 2014, when the position became vacant. At that stage, it made sense to utilise the existing skills within the organisation, rather than recruit externally. Whilst always involved with the financial function of the business, Hannan has stepped up and now handles all of METL's financial operations.

"I've really enjoyed the last 3 years with METL," reflect Hannan. "Having had the opportunity to move into different roles  within the company, and to take on more responsibility has been rewarding. I know the value of training, so I'm happy to be playing a part helping others get the skills they need."

Congratulations Hannan, and we look forward to the next 3 years.

Hannan El - kabbout receives the 2016 Lloyds List Maritime Service Award

from an Ausport Marine representative and Tasmanian Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie

Posted in Ahoy at 21 April 17

METL Retains Accreditation as White Ribbon Workplace

In 2013 METL was excited to take part in the pilot group of Australian organisations working towards gaining recognition as an accredited White Ribbon Workplace.

On the strength of METL’s demonstrable commitment to providing a safe working environment for women in a heavily male dominated industry, as well as its workforce’s dedication towards enacting social change, METL was successful in becoming the 8th organisation in Australia to be accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace.

In the intervening time since accreditation METL has continued to support White Ribbon in word and deed. When the reaccreditation requirements were announced in 2016 METL once again put its hand up to take part and seek renewal of its status as a recognised White Ribbon Workplace.

METL CEO Simon Earle addresses students from the Woollahra Council area 2016

The process for reaccreditation followed a similar structure to the initial accreditation process. Organisations were invited to submit evidence in order to demonstrate that they meet 15 distinct criteria across 3 standards – Leadership and Commitment, Prevention of Violence Against Women, and Responses to Violence Against Women.

To fully demonstrate the breadth of METL activities, over 100 articles of individual evidence were submitted as part of the assessment process. These articles gave an overview of METL Policies & Procedures, examples of policy in action, executive staff involvement in White Ribbon activities, co-branding and promotion, and a host of further instances of METL living and breathing the White Ribbon message.

Submissions for reaccreditation were examined by objective third party assessors between December 2016 and March 2017. Last month the METL team was happy to learn that all criteria for reaccreditation had been met, with the final report showing several instances of the assessors judging METLs activities to be above and beyond the requirements laid out by White Ribbon.

METL CEO Simon Earle accepts the renewed accreditation certificate from Ronan Smyth,
Executive Manager of the White Ribbon Workplaces Accreditation program.

“Gender inequality, and the violence that often goes with it, are pervasive issues in our society. I think the workplace provides unique opportunities to address this, so as employers we have a responsibility,” says Simon Earle, METL CEO.  “I am proud of what the METL team do every day, and the re-accreditation shows us that we are contributing to a change.”

Posted in Ahoy at 13 April 17

METL-CSL Training Partnership Continues

METL Operations Officer Kevin Hunt with the new group of TIRS. Left to right: Michael O'Shane, Scott Booth, Kevin Hunt, Justin Ryan, James Mitchell, Liam McGartland, Rob Campbell. Not pictured: Rob McCormack.

Following completion of the college component, the TIRs will undertake their sea service exclusively aboard vessels in the CSL fleet. This is a shift, as trainees were previously drawn from a common pool and rotated among host employers during their seatime. The current arrangement sees the Trainees funded 100% by CSL.

"The newer training model of recruitment and retaining TIRs to serve aboard CSL vessels shows an increased commitment from the host" notes METL Operations Officer Kevin Hunt "It allows trainees to learn the ins and outs of working aboard specific vessels, and to gain a high level of familiarity with their crewmates and procedures."

The TIRs are due to complete their college course and commence their sea service in June of this year.

Posted in Ahoy at 13 April 17

METL Launches New Maritime Centre

March 2017 saw a new group of seven seafarers commence their IR traineeships with South Metropolitan TAFE (formerly Challenger TAFE) in Fremantle, WA.

The off the job component of the traineeship consists of almost three months of coursework in Fremantle. Supplementary to the instruction provided by South Metro TAFE, additional training will be undertaken with local RTOs delivering both specialised training in core IR course modules such as firefighting, and high risk training for practical use during their sea service.

This group is the most recent to start down the path to their IR qualifications under the ongoing partnership between METL and CSL. CSL is METL’s longest running host employer, coming on board when METL first began operations in 2011.

Originally CSL and METL had a strong focus on boosting IR numbers in order to address the skills shortage in the maritime sector. Now that the industry has slowed down training has been scaled back to match, with the current group of 7 TIRs being sufficient to meet CSL’s trainee requirements for the year.

The Directors of METL hosted the official opening of the new Maritime Centre at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, WA, on Thursday 6th April, 2017.

WA Senator Glenn Sterle provided the formalities, by lowering the opening plaque from a 20-tonne gantry crane, which was fitting, given that the centre will provide training in a range of maritime-focused high-risk licences including dogging, rigging, and crane operations.

“This facility is a shining example of industry and unions working together to fill a training gap, as is the global standard, particularly in parts of Europe,” METL Chair and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said. “Some parts of the industry and some governments in Australia have a problem accepting that unions and industry can work together and that perception has to change.”

Left to right: METL Chair - Paddy Crumlin, Director - Phil Jones, CEO - Simon Earle, Director Chris Cain, and Senator Glenn Sterle

A look around the room at the guests on the night may suggest that perception is beginning to shift. A broad cross-section of the industry was represented including employers from the dredging, off-shore and blue-water sectors; executives from maritime training RTOs including South Metropolitan TAFE in Fremantle (formerly Challenger TAFE) and the Australian Maritime College in Launceston; officials and members of local, national and international unions; representatives from international shipowners; welfare provider Hunterlink; former Director of METL, Martin Meijers who made the trip from Singapore; the Mayor of Cockburn, Logan Howlett and Cockburn Councillor, Lee-Anne Smith.

METL Director and IR/HR Manager of ASP Ship Management, Phil Jones addressed the gathering, reinforcing the benefits of genuine industry collaboration. “Sure, we have our differences from time-to-time, but there are enormous dividends to unions and employers in working together on training. A well-trained workforce is a productive workforce; and a well-developed safety culture benefits all of us, our families and communities.”

METL Chief Executive Officer Simon Earle reflected that the official opening was the exciting first step in building a regional maritime centre of excellence.

“This facility has the potential to train thousands of people every year, and we will work with employers in the coastal shipping trade, the oil and gas industry, ports and stevedoring operations to provide the very best maritime workers,” Mr Earle said.  “The centre will also offer a suite of maritime services, including welfare support, rehabilitation and return to work programs, as well as financial skills training. We’re not looking to replicate what exists, but to complement it.”

METL Director and WA MUA Branch Secretary Chris Cain applauded it as a win for local people and local jobs.

“METL is the largest employer of trainee seafarers in Australia and through this new facility METL will continue to build the skills of our maritime workforce to ensure we remain the safest and most highly trained in the world,” Mr Cain said.

Posted in Ahoy at 13 April 17

METL RTO Building Update

After a short break over the Christmas period, construction continues at the METL RTO in Henderson, WA. Structural steel for the façade and office space has been erected and the stairwells are in place or awaiting connection. Internally, walls and slabs for the lunchroom, first-aid room, communications room and change rooms have been erected and fit-out commenced. Landscaping has now started with the terracing of garden beds at the front of the premises, between the road and the fence line.

The program remains on-time and within budget, and there have been zero LTI’s registered onsite. The schedule in the coming weeks will see the tilt-up panels for the office space put in place, and further concrete poured for the first floor, once extra structural steel is bolted into position.

As the weather heats up in Western Australia, the builders and contractors have started at earlier times in the mornings as to avoid prolonged exposure to extremely high temperatures in the middle of the day. January temperatures have reached as high as 45 degrees Celsius.
The whole team at METL, are very much looking forward to the next few months where dreams will finally become reality and training in WA will have a “New Kid on the Block” who will be at the forefront of High Risk and Maritime Training.

Posted in Ahoy at 25 January 17

The METL New Year

The METL team would like to thank its workforce, clients, stakeholders, and supporters for your contribution to our ongoing successes. 

2016 has proven to be a challenging year in the industry, but one that METL has risen to meet, coming away with several awards in both the maritime and training sectors.

We look forward to working with you all in the new year, and hope to make 2017 as positive as its predecessor,

Posted in Ahoy at 30 December 16

METL Scoops Maritime Services Award

On November 16th 2016, METL Group Training Officer, Hannan El-kabbout, and Admin and Marketing Officer Ruth Kirley, attended the 21st Lloyd’s List Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards in Sydney.

These awards acknowledge and recognise exceptional achievement and contribution within the Australian Maritime Industry. Guests came from several sectors including government, shipping, freight forwarding and customs brokering. Among the dignitaries were Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie, attending as a guest of Ausport Marine and as someone who has herself taken a keen interest in coastal shipping.

METL was selected as a finalist in the Maritime Services Award category, open to agents, brokers, classification societies, legal practitioners, finance providers, telecommunications or IT suppliers, security services, training and education companies or institutions. Other finalists in this award category included David Paul, Senior Application Specialist at Saab Ports & Terminals, Geoff Hack, Managing Director at EES Shipping Pty Ltd, MER Solutions Australia Pty Ltd; and Project Professionals Group Pty Ltd.

Following great suspense at the Award ceremony, METL was announced as the 2016 Maritime Services Award winner, with Hannan El-kabbout accepting the award from Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Left to right, GTO Officer, Hannan El-kabbout, and Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie.


"To be acknowledged by our peers in the industry is the highest accolades," said METL CEO Simon Earle. "I'd like to thank the Board for their direction and staff for their commitment over a very busy year."

Hannan El-Kabbout comments on METL’s accomplishment: “This award is a real testament to the team’s constant hard work and dedication to the industry.” “The calibre of the other entries was high so for METL to be recognised is incredible. Achievements such as this help us demonstrate to the industry that we deliver an excellent, professional and reliable service.” concludes Hannan El-kabbout.

METL Admin and Marketing Officer, Ruth Kirley, acknowledged the achievements of the finalists in the category. “It’s an honour to be rewarded and recognised for our work. I would like to congratulate all finalists, highly commended and winners from the 2016 Lloyds List Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards for their contribution to the industry” says Ruth Kirley.
We are extremely pleased with the support we receive and look forward to an ongoing collaboration with Host employers, unions and training organisations in the near future.


Posted in Ahoy at 30 November 16

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