I. Basterretxea, J.A. Vila Muñoz

Universidad del País Vasco (SPAIN)
There has been always the necessity from the shipowners to keep their mariners properly trained in the nautical sciences. Apart of this, during XX century the vessels were provided with engines and therefore part of the crew had to be also taught in the marine engine knowledge. Moreover this necessity was higher in some areas where the most of the citizens were related to the sea industry, just as the Basque Country and, consequently, the first Nautical School of Biscay was founded in 1742. This school was located in Bilbao and, some years later, other Nautical Schools were founded in other villages and towns along the Biscay coast. The nautical knowledge was not enough to skill the future mariners in the work at sea and it was necessary for the students to sign on board merchant vessels to practice the knowledge learnt in the school. In the same way there were also training ships where the students of the Nautical School of Bilbao were skilled as the “Ama Begoñakoa”, “Marques de Chávarri”, “Saltillo”, etc. The experience of the students on board those vessels was the link between the studies and the future job. Actually the students are binding to be signed on during a period of twelve months on board a ship to obtain the professional qualification. Due to this the Nautical School of Bilbao and the Basque Shipowners Association reached an agreement of cooperation in 1995 so that the students may be skilled on board the Association’s fleet. In addition of this, the students of the Nautical School of Bilbao may also sign on board the training vessel named “Saltillo” to finish the compulsory training period but limited to six months only. This paper is intended to give figures and details of this experience between the school and the Basque shipping industry focused to future application of the new studies under Bologna process in the Nautical School of Bilbao. On the other hand it is also intended to know what the shipowners expect from the students in practice and the possibilities of promotion of these students on board their vessels.