Kiribati Marine Training Centre (MTC)
Status of initiative: On track
Description/achievement of initiative

The partnership between Kiribati, New Zealand and South Pacific Marine Services (SPMS) has seen the Kiribati Marine Training Centre (MTC) become a world class marine training institution. It makes a significant contribution to economic and social development in Kiribati and the broader region. The MTC was established in 1967. It provides training for ratings (trainees) to work in deck and engineering positions on international ships. It has the distinction of being the only institution in the Pacific to achieve White List status under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, thus facilitating future employment opportunities for seafarers. The MTC is the most important source of private sector employment for I-Kiribati, generating significant foreign exchange earnings. More than 2,100 trainees graduated between 1984-2012. This created over 27,000 jobs with the German shipping line SPMS, with an average of 936 jobs filled per year.Remittances from wages earned while overseas provide a source of foreign exchange for the Kiribati economy and support to the extended families and communities of the seafarers.

Implementation methodologies

New Zealand has been a long running supporter of the Centre, assisting with 25% of the total cost of running the Centre between 1995 - 2012. By accompanying the government's expenditure on MTC, New Zealand, SPMS and other historical donors have ensured that the Centre has the resources it needs to maintain a high standard of training and provide opportunities for future employment of I-Kiribati seafarers.MLHRD works to ensure support provided by development partners and the private sector is well coordinated. For example, the SPMS offices are located at the MTC to better facilitate the transition to employment for trainees. The MTC will also shortly merge with the Kiribati Fisheries Training Centre.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Recent/current support, provided in partnership with the MLHRD, includes: - capacity strengthening for teachers and management - improving training resources and facilities - ensuring medical clearances of seafarers are internationally recognised (a prerequisite for gaining employment off-shore) by setting up a medical facility, training local medical staff and providing medical support - the construction of two buildings to house fisheries trainees, administration offices, SPMS offices, and the medical clinic- catering and English language training through VSA and JICA.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The MTC falls under the Kiribati Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development (MLHRD). MLHRD chairs a coordination committee that includes key stakeholders, including New Zealand and South Pacific Marine Services.


Government of Kiribati (Ministry of Labour, Human Resources and Development), South Pacific Marine Services, Kiribati Fisheries Training Centre, and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. All are key partners in the Kiribati Marine Training Centre. Volunteers also provided by New Zealand Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
2010 - ongoing
Improved capacity of MTC staff to deliver high quality in-country training
2010 - ongoing
Improved training facilities and resoruces to enable high quality training
2010 - ongoing
Increased employment of i-Kiribati on foreign fishing and shipping vessels
2010 - ongoing
Reliable and efficient Medical Clearance testing provided at MTC
Resources devoted to implementation
Other, please specify
SPMS trainee recruitment
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
Progress reports
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: Ongoing
Operating in countries
Partner connections
Contact information/focal point(s)
Callie Stewart (interim), callie.stewart@mfat.govt.nz

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