Global shipping company Maersk Line has called for a relook of employment patterns in the maritime industry to address rising unemployment and socioeconomic problems faced by the country’s youth.
The company’s chairman in South Africa, Frederick Jacobs, said the future of the industry was in the hands of the youth.
Jacobs said to leverage this, the maritime industry needed to address rising unemployment among the country’s youth, and the socioeconomic problems that they faced.
“The future of a healthy and productive maritime industry is sustained by a comprehensive workforce,” he said.
Speaking on the eve of Youth Day, Jacobs acknowledged the importance of ensuring that critical skills were passed down to the next generation to ensure the future growth of the industry, especially in a global context where there were plenty of opportunities for growth and trade.
Ninety percent of global trade takes place via shipping. “Due to the high volumes of trade which move through South Africa’s harbours and ports, there are vast career opportunities for youth in the maritime sector to explore,” Jacobs said.
With the future of South Africa falling in the hands of the youth, who will eventually rise up in new leadership positions, Jacobs said it was critical to ensure that “the correct skills sets and experience are being passed down to the next generation”.
Jacobs said South Africa was a country with great potential and “the skills of South Africa’s youth need to be continually developed and nurtured through training facilities such as the South African Maritime Training Academy”.
The academy is a non-profit organisation providing maritime education and training solutions to young South Africans interested in a career at sea.
Youth who enter the industry are trained and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge they need for a successful maritime career.
Skills development and education, Jacobs had noted, were key to ensuring young people interested in the maritime industry experienced a smooth transition from school to the industry.
In tackling unemployment and other socioeconomic challenges, and nurturing the youth, the country’s maritime industry would be able to maintain its respected position among other countries in the global context.
Investing in the country’s youth, Jacobs said, would play an important element in stimulating the future economy and employment opportunities.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.