ASEAN Ports Association





(MTG-2; MTA-7; No.1)


ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan (ASTP) 2011 -2015, also known as Brunei Action Plan 2011-2015 is a successor to ASEAN Transport Action Plan (ATAP) which expired in 2010. “Brunei Action Plan” (BAP) was presented and adopted during the 16th ASEAN Transport Meeting in November 2010 and was discussed at the 21st Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG), March 2011 at Kota Kinabalu for the first time.

BAP is one of the initiatives to provide reference in guiding ASEAN Transport Cooperation and integration in the next five years. It covers three main sectors land, air, and maritime transport, and transport facilitation. BAP was formulated, prepared and submitted by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Study Team.

In the 21st ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Meeting (AMTWG), Malaysia was appointed as the lead country for MTG-2 MTA7 No.1 “FORMULATE TRAINING PROGRAM TO ENHANCE CAPABILITY OF PORT PERSONNEL BY 2012”.

Based on Final Report by ERIA – the MTA 7 No. 1 should cover cargo handling operation, navigation control, security management and environment management. The project was intended to establish standards of training program designed to provide guideline that can be used by ASEAN ports to enhance capability of port personnel.

In order to develop the program that suit the needs of, and compatible with the culture in ports of ASEAN member states, Ministry Of Transport, Malaysia (MOT), appointed APA Malaysia to lead the project. A project brief was presented during the 22nd MTWG in Penang. An extension until 2015 was requested during this meeting and it was granted in the 32nd STOM, December 2011.

 During the 23rd AMTWG Meeting, it was agreed that the training programs to be formulated should focus on the development of guidelines towards certification/accreditation for vocational training for skilled workers who are directly involved in port operations. Republic of Korea, JICA and GIZ have all agreed to explore possible assistance.


The port community plays a vital role in economic growth by attracting and generating trade. Today’s maritime sector is confronted with many challenges, such as newly imposed standards in safety and environmental management, radical change in the information systems, new cargo handling and commercial practices, privatisation and restructured shipping services and substantial potential traffic growth through globalisation. Countries which are unable to cope with such rapidly advancing realities, will find that they are not in a position to foster the development of their trade sector.

In this framework, the development of human skills under locally applicable conditions is important if a port is to succeed in implementing its economic role. In this continuously evolving environment, port efficiency depends heavily on front liner (on the ground staff) who must be competent, skilful and well trained. For this to be successful the employee must have the essential technical and skill competencies. They also need to be multitask and flexible in order to be able to master the challenge of different positions and responsibilities during their career.

Current training programmes for this category of employees have been found insufficient. Among other problems identified are:

  1. No standardised training modules within ports and existing training modules are unique to respective ports
  2. No minimum qualification set for port workers
  3. No proper training pathway

In order to formulate the training program, among the factors that need to be considered are as follows:

  1. type of cargo handle (container, break bulk, liquid bulk or dry bulk),
  2. the technology involve (manual labour or port equipment, type of machinery, operating system etc)
  3. standard module training that has been adopted by the port (i.e IMO, ILC etc) and also
  4. requirement of international standards and conventions

This is essential so that the training program will be based on the need of ASEAN port as a whole and not any individual port and the training must also be oriented towards the future needs of the port and international standards compliance.


The formulated training program shall focus on vocational training for identified releveant port workers and the program shall be workable at all ASEAN ports.



The formulation of the training program shall be implemented through the following activities:

i.            To Identify :

  1. ASEAN focal person : request assistance from MOT
  2. Target group:
    • Operators and Authorities
    • Port workers
  3. Needs for funding
  4. Source of funding


ii.            Data Collection :

  1. Training program/syllabus from local and ASEAN ports for at least 3 years;
  2. Field research by study team and on-site discussion with expert(s) at each ASEAN Member States (AMS)
  3. Related international standards and conventions
  4. Related accreditation body


iii.            Analysis

  1. the data regarding training needs and the field situation in targeted ASEAN ports (by survey, visit etc.)
  2. The most and the least required training needed based on an online survey (for ASEAN Member States and their ports);
  3. Similar training according to related department i.e land operations and marine operations, that being practised in local and ASEAN Ports;
  4. Different/unique training program which the port(s) conduct to enhance their capability;


iv.            Formulating the enhancement training programme.

  1. The analysis result of matrix job profiling survey for all the major ASEAN port will be used to set the baseline standard.
  2. The weakness of the training program will be address in the enhancement program by providing on site training and coaching.
  3. The trainers are outstanding port workers trained to be a trainer. The program of the training will be accessed and evaluated by accredited body which later will issue certificate of recognition.
  4. The enhancement training module will be formulated by country department of competencies with the assistance of expert from the port industry.


v.            To document the works of this project



i.    APA Malaysia will provide progress reports to AMTWG Meeting as per the key milestones in its project plan and at least biannually.

ii.   APA Malaysia will put forward to AMTWG any proposal for how any further priorities, specific projects or reforms should be handled, in what timeframe, and whether they need to continue to undertake this work.

iii.  APA Malaysia will provide the documented enhancement program to AMTWG by December 2015.



The project commenced in Mac 2011 and will end in December 2015.



i.    In line with JICA, ROK and GIZ commitment in 23rd AMTWG, assistance may need to be explored and requested.

ii.   Request cooperation and assistance from Department of Skills Development, Malaysia as local expert.

iii.  Other qualified training consultant.