Maritime careers expo underway in Durban

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pretoria - The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Labour and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism is hosting the South Africa Maritime Industry Careers Expo and Jobs Summit in Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium this week.

The Careers Expo and Jobs Summit, which started today, is in support of government's New Growth Path (NGP) goal to create five million jobs over the next 10 years and reduce unemployment by 10 percent.

The expo will form part of SAMSA's drive to revive the country's maritime industry and create 160 000 jobs within the next 20 years.

"Up to 98 percent of trade between South Africa and its partner countries is seaborne, yet maritime career opportunities remain largely untapped due to lack of awareness amongst South Africans," said SAMSA CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele.

In support of its core message that young people can 'choose a Career Less Ordinary in the Maritime Industry,' the event will inform learners, school leavers, job seekers and teachers/educators of opportunities in the industry and will provide a platform for employers and job seekers to connect.

With almost half of youth under the age of 25 currently unemployed in South Africa and a shortage of some 30 000 skilled artisans and technicians in the country, the expo and summit is expected to make a significant contribution to driving skills development and employment in the maritime sector for the youth of South Africa.

SAMSA developed the Maritime Skills Development Program as a result of its skills study.

In celebration of the expo, the SA Agulhas sailed into Durban harbour yesterday on Heritage Day to fly her colours for the more than 10 000 visitors expected at the expo.

The expo and summit promises to be a stimulating and interactive event packed with exciting displays, skills and information sessions, workshops, competitions, water sports activities and even a seafood pavilion, all aimed at giving young people an inspiring insight into careers in the maritime industry.

Information will be available on jobs for technicians, artisans, crew members, engineers, IT specialists, managers and much more as well as maritime law and maritime economics.

Learners and job seekers will be able to find out about bursaries, learnerships and in-service training, as well as how to access funding. They will also meet future key employers and inspiring people from the industry, get free career advice, attend interactive information sessions, receive advice on writing a CV, receive a toolkit with all they need to know about getting into the industry, and enjoy plenty of fun and entertainment.

"Awareness of opportunities for careers in the maritime industry must start in the classroom,"Mokhele said.

The expo is also offering a full educator workshop programme and a comprehensive toolkit for teachers, to provide them with the necessary information and skills to teach learners about maritime careers.

The expo will culminate in a one-day Job Summit on 28 September, involving decision makers from the industry.

"The Jobs Summit will be a critical platform for raising awareness about the job opportunities available in the sector and how it can contribute to government's agenda of job creation," said Mokhele.

Discussions at the summit will have strategic outcomes such as securing accord by industry employers on labour standards and access to opportunities to ensure sustainable employment within the industry, and a partnership with maritime employers and other organisations in the recruitment and placement of job seekers.

The Job Summit will also launch an online portal, the South African Jobs Summit Portal, designed to connect job seekers with potential employers.

Teachers and learners, parents and employers are urged to visit to attend.

The Expo will run from 25 to 28 September and entry is free while the Job Summit will take place on 29 September.