Samsa to help govt meet job demand

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cape Town - The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) has forecast that it will be able to create 1 800 jobs in the sector over the next year.

Critical to meeting that target was a cadet training programme, which would be done through the SA Maritime Training Academy in partnership with the private sector.

The announcement was made in Cape Town on Wednesday by Samsa chief executive, Tsietsi Mokhele, who highlighted that they were responding to the government's focus on job creation.

Mokhele said that as part of a mandate from government, they had developed a strategy to improve the country's maritime economy, but a major drawback had been the lack of skills in the sector in both sea and shore based human resources.

This, he said, had contributed to the drop in active shipping companies in South Africa. 

Mokhele said the training programme had the potential "to double or triple job creation in the sector."

"The programme is the backbone of Samsa's strategy to develop the requisite skills base in the sector with a view to developing it. Furthermore, it is well recognised that the shortage of training berths for cadets is the key obstacle to addressing the above mentioned shortage," he said.

The training programmes would be completed on the grounds that third party shipping companies were to make training berths available - at no real cost to them - to train those cadets on their vessels, Mokhele said. 

Shipping companies which have come on board to participate in the training include Safmarine, OAC, Columbia Ship Management and Smit.