The ocean awaits

Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) has launched the maritime industry’s Seafaring Skills Census.
The 2018 Census received 169 responses, providing an excellent cross-section of the industry indicating the importance the sector places on this information.
The census shows there are currently over 5,500 seafarers working at sea and ashore. Alarmingly, 52% are older than 46 and only 8% younger than 30. The census also forecasts a 560+ shortage of seafarers in 2023.
MIAL CEO Teresa Lloyd commented on the findings of the report, acknowledging that gaining seafaring skills in Australia is difficult when it depends on ships being available. The census is the first step in a more holistic evaluation on the national skilling need.
Ms Lloyd observed: “As everyone with an interest in the maritime industry knows the workforce is aging, the opportunities to train and work in the industry are reducing, yet the need for qualified and experienced officers is as great as ever.
“The training pipeline has reduced to a trickle. The end users of seafarer skills need to do more. Ports, regulators, educators, surveyors, the entire maritime community depend on having sufficiently experienced people available to fill key roles and they need to be part of the solution, not just part of the problem.
“There is great opportunity for the industry to better work together to maximise the efficiency of the limited training opportunities that currently exist, to share the cost burden across those who need the skills, and increase the pool of people entering the maritime industry,” said Ms Lloyd.
In introducing the census report, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development the Hon Michael McCormack MP said of the Census: “Providing this data to the maritime sector is critical to the future planning needed to identify opportunities for industry sectors and governments to collaborate, foster innovation, encourage investment and develop the systems we need to ensure a steady supply of new mariners to fill critical roles at sea and on land.”
MIAL welcomed the comment from the Deputy Prime Minister and called on the government to work with industry and support initiatives that ensure skills so critical to the national economy are developed and maintained.
MIAL also announced its commitment to furthering interest in the sector via the MIAL Maritime Introduction prize, an opportunity for a young person to sail on the Young Endeavour, attend the suite of MIAL training courses, and be exposed to a wide range of facets of our sector via a work experience placement with MIAL. Details of eligibility, application process and selection criteria for this prize will be announced in the very near future.
Click here to view the official report.

Maersk re-crews with Asian seafarers

Maersk Line is continuing its drastic reorganisation, with news that its Danish crew will be laid off, to be replaced with an "international crew".

A company said in a statement that "in order to return to profitability, A.P. Moller – Maersk … need[s] to make some significant changes relating to the shipboard operation and the cost of operating under Danish flag. This will result in lay-offs of about 200 Danish chief stewards and Danish ratings aboard Danish flagged container and tanker vessels. These positions will be replaced with international crew.

"We regret having to dismiss these chief stewards and ratings who have served the company well for many years. The layoffs are a result of the internationalisation of the seafarers which has been going on for some years, and reflect the fact that international crew have proven their capabilities and abilities to offer a qualified alternative to the Danish chief stewards and ratings. Today we have to hire seafarers based on cost competitiveness."

The process will continue into 2009 and affected employees will be redeployed within the group as much as possible. Negotiations with Danish seafarer organisations on conditions are taking place.

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