This question is for people who’ve attended the apprenticeship program at SIU and/or those who otherwise know anything about it.
– What is your overall opinion of the program?
– How easy (or hard) was it for you to get in?
– It’s nearly free, including room and board. Since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, what’s the catch? I am only guessing here, but I presume they either make money off the recruits during their training time/internship aboard a vessel, or they’re paid by SMC, where it seems they send many of their graduates to be employed afterwards.
– From the description, the training sounds like military boot camp. No cars allowed on campus, no leaving the campus, marching to meals, wearing a uniform, your medicines must be dispensed by an employee, you can’t carry any money, etc. Sounds a little draconian. Is it like boot camp?
– Can you expect to earn around $280 a day after becoming a QMED through this program? I’ve heard MSC doesn’t pay very well.
– Is the quickest route to achieve assistant engineer status through MSC?
I’m not familiar with the program, but when you say MSC are they feeding into MSC as civil service employees or MSC as contract operators? There is a HUGE difference, particularly in terms of pay and benefits.
There is no direct line or special consideration given to graduates getting a job with MSC. If someone is telling you that they are full of crap. Now, to get a job on a contract MSC ship you may have to go to this school, but I doubt even then it will guarantee you a job.
The " draconian boot camp" is used to weed out, or perhaps better stated to thin out the ones worthy of educating. Basically, if you can’t make it there chances are you won’t make it on a ship either. Most schools or academies have some method of weeding out the wanna be types, this is theirs.
The " draconian boot camp" is used to weed out, or perhaps better stated to thin out the ones worthy of educating. Basically, if you can’t make it there chances are you won’t make it on a ship either. Most schools or academies have some method of weeding out the wanna be types, this is theirs.[/QUOTE]
Reminds me of the joke, “There are only two things I am unwilling to do to lose weight and those two things are diet and exercise.”
These guys that want to sail are willing to do anything to get their credentials unless it’s difficult on inconvenient.
I already held a 1st Motor and Gas Turbine when I joined the SIU and sailed Inland div. The PIC, EPA and STCW courses were the only ones I attended other than company seminars. My cousin went through the trainee program and has been sailing as oiler. He hasn’t sat in the hall very long between jobs. He’ll start Junior Engineer training this week. He’ll probably have his 3rd asst in another year.
Most of the SIU guys I have sailed with dont seem like they attended any type of military boot camp. Sure there is a regiment but the academies have regiments and none of them would be comparable to actual boot camp.
[QUOTE=Cal;117954]Absolutely not. They want you to come, take advantage of their training, and split the first chance you get to any company that will take you!
As paranoid as you sound I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Everybody has their propaganda, unions and companies alike. Its not that difficult to avoid drinking the kool-aid…[/QUOTE]
Indeed, some on this forum offer kool-aid too. I’m not paranoid or afraid to attend classes in a boot camp setting if I set my mind to it. I’m just curious about how they make their pay. Nothing is free. It either has to be from government funding, close ties with companies that hire recent graduates, or in the reduced wages that attendees earn during part of their training. I’ve got no problem with any of this, just curious, that’s all.
[QUOTE=oregonblitzkrieg;117955]Indeed, some on this forum offer kool-aid too. I’m not paranoid or afraid to attend classes in a boot camp setting if I set my mind to it. I’m just curious about how they make their pay. Nothing is free. It either has to be from government funding, close ties with companies that hire recent graduates, or in the reduced wages that attendees earn during part of their training. I’ve got no problem with any of this, just curious, that’s all.[/QUOTE]
Was in class 761 and I’m out on my first ordinary job right now about to wrap it up and get my AB. It’s a great way to get into the industry and get sea time and like you said it’s free. Apparently talking with guys who went through the program before I did it’s apparently gotten easier but that might just be opinion. I would say go for it. If you don’t like the SIU after you finish take your rating and go non union, fuck it bro.
Also,as far As the boot camp shit goes it’s really not that hard. Just shave and wear your uniform and show up on time and you’re fine. Like the guy above said its meant to weed out those who really don’t want to sail or wouldn’t make it a day on a ship anyway. Good luck hope you go for it I’m glad I did.
Your question is more pertinant to the ‘employment’ thread. I highly suggest you go there and start reading. ESPECIALLY the ‘READ THIS’ for New hires want to be starting out sticky on the top of the list. Any info you want, need or could ask for has already been written, again and again.
Your questions about Unions are illuminating how much you don’t know about how they work, how the dues and company contributions are benefiting the mariner. Using a quick ‘search’ (yes, the search button works just fine) of ‘SIU school’ returned about two dozen answers which would cover just about any question you could ask, or want to know, or would trigger more questions which are answered by the results too!
My advice is to stop wringing your hands and go out and get a job somewhere. You may realize that you DON’T like the life aboard, and won’t want to invest your time in the industry. So before you spend thousands, and years getting INTO an industry, make sure you like it.
[QUOTE=oregonblitzkrieg;117933]What was the union BS you had to deal with? Do they want you to become a lifelong union member and only take union jobs?[/QUOTE]
You will learn the Union Motto. As I recall it went something like this:
I promise to never hurt a fellow Union member. I promise to never work for less than Union Wage. and a few other lines I forget.
I have worked for 33 years on Tugs. For 7 years before that on ferries as a kid. I learned after my first Union (SIU) job to follow the two listed mantras. I don’t have to make others look bad to make myself look good, and I have NEVER in 32 years worked for less than Union scale. (whether working Union or not)
Your worry about what and why of Unions is misplaced. Your confusion and worry about how and where to work would be solved by simply going to work and finding out what the life is like.
If it was that easy to just go out and get a job in our industry people wouldn’t have to use things like the SIU school. What you are saying is a lot easier said than done. SIU school is the quickest and easiest way to start in the marine industry if you ask me. I mean come on really who’s going to hire someone with a document with no experience or anything. The answer is no one.
What? Get your damn documents and walk down to the docks! You can get a flippin job as a green deckhand with a towing outfit, if you try hard enough, I promise you that. I did the exact same thing myself, not that long ago. Stop pontificating on the internet and commit, if you really want to sail. A few weeks/months on a tug will let you know if you want to pursue SIU or whatever other avenue.
GoIrish, that post was not directed at you specifically. Just the constant stream of people coming on gcaptain repeating the same tired line that they can’t get a job in this marine industry. You CAN get a job in the marine industry with no experience. And you can’t get this job writing on gcaptain, calling offices, and “sending in resumes and filling out apps”. You must walk INSIDE offices on the waterfront, look people directly in the eye, and tell them you are looking to work right away and have all your docs. This strategy works in any port/harbor. Boots on the ground. No more internet “research”. No more hand wringing. Direct contact. It can be done, and is done, all the time.
Also, no way in hell I am putting where I work or who I work for on here. Suffice it to say I got my start with an east coast towing outfit of no special merit. But, I did it, and others have done it, and continue to do it.