Columbia Shipmanagement has underscored its commitment to crew training through a new agreement with the Nautilus Pacific Maritime Training Centre in the Philippines.

The Manila base will be the exclusive training centre for the ship manager’s seafarers in the country.

The deal means that CSM can tap into “state-of-the-art” simulators, holograms and webinar technology, to bring together the highest quality in-person and online seafarer training, the company said.

Up to 5,000 Columbia staff will be trained every year at Nautilus’ purpose-built training centre.

The International Maritime Training Fund (IMTF) has helped to part-fund new equipment and the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) has lent its full support to the initiative, Columbia added.

The centre covers 1,700 square metres and features a number of high-tech Wartsila-made simulators, including a full mission bridge simulator, equipped with aft view and suitable for ice navigation across numerous ship models.

The training centre also has a simulator for liquid cargo handling, including oil, chemical, LPG and LNG, multiple electronic chart simulators, and a new rescue boat simulator, the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Mark O’Neil, president and chief executive of Columbia, added: “We are committed to providing the highest quality and most effective training for our seafarers in the Philippines and worldwide. What has been achieved at the Nautilus Pacific Maritime Training Centre is ground-breaking and we are delighted to be working with them.”

There are plans to upgrade electrical and electronic workshops and to introduce crane handling training.

Captain Noriel Cereno, managing director of the centre, said: “Nautilus is proud to be working with Columbia to take seafarer training in the Philippines to the next level.”

“The quality of the advanced facilities at our new premises will only prove to our existing and potential clients, our commitment to quality and efficient training of their crew,” he added.