Amendments to the Seafarer's Service Regulations were ratified on November 9, 2017, by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. With these new amendments, graduates from ocean tourism and food/beverage departments can now obtain a Seaman Service Book after completing training in basic safety and other topics. They also allow cruise companies to recruit first-rate workers in Taiwan in a timely manner.
The Maritime and Port Bureau emphasized that according to the regulations in Taiwan, staff members in cruise services, including regular staff and crew, entertainers and food and beverage personnel, receptionists, and entertainment workers do not need to obtain the Seaman Service Book, and are only required to be marked on the crew list. According to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), crew members of different ranks, such as captain and chief engineer, must complete professional training and obtain relevant certificates. However, some countries require all staff members in cruise services to complete training and obtain the Seaman Service Book. The amendments to the regulations make it so Taiwan nationals can participate in training at their own expense, and after successfully completing the training, they can obtain the training certificate and Seaman Service Book. This has effectively removed obstacles to a career in the cruise service industry. In addition to those changes, ocean tourism and food and beverage departments at universities can now integrate training into their curriculum so that students can obtain certification during their studies. Internship opportunities are also increased by allowing short-term training exercises on cruise ships. Cruise companies may also recruit in advance from university campuses, so that students can begin employment immediately after graduation, which allows a seamless connection between industry and academia.
The Maritime and Port Bureau stated that a series of activities are planned to expand cooperation between schools and the cruise industry so that more young people can enter the international cruise service industry. The goal of which is to remove obstacles and facilitate the comprehensive development of Taiwan's cruise industry.