The ongoing issue of unemployment and skills shortage in South Africa, has prompted the maritime industry to launch a Maritime Skills Development Study. The maritime sector, which includes ports and ships, marine resources, marine tourism and leisure, marine manufacturing and construction and commercial support and business services, experiences a serious shortage of skilled people.
The study launched by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is aimed at contributing to the process of skills development and empowerment in the maritime sector.
Undertaken in partnership with the Human Resource Development Council, the study was conducted with expert help from audit firm Deloitte of South Africa and support from the Department of Transport. It calls on training institutions, government and the private sector to work together to bridge the skills gap in the maritime sector.
"We value the partnerships forged with private international companies to assist with cadets deployment, but we also need to remind South Africans about the economic value that will be brought should we have our very own human capital to quantify for the employment opportunities on the business shore," SAMSA CEO Commmander Tsietsi Mokhele.
The study provides for measures that will be put in place to promote growth and development in the sub-sectors of the maritime industry: shipping; marine resources; marine tourism and leisure; marine manufacturing and construction; commercial support, business services and public interests.
Currently in South Africa, the ports and shipping sub-sectors are the biggest employers in the sector but this is to the exclusion of the other sectors that have been identified by the study.