Maritime Awareness Week activities to promote education
More than 1.5 million people across the globe are employed as seafarers; however, according to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), this is not nearly enough to sustain the rapidly expanding industry. In fact, the international body has said that qualified seafarers are in short supply, with the number of persons entering the profession remaining comparatively low.
As the global economy continues to expand,
related activities such as shipbuilding, ship repair, and ship recycling will also have growing manpower needs. The IMO has said that if the global fleet increases in size by 70 per cent between now and 2030 (as has been widely predicted based on the growth trend of the last five decades), the current number of 500,000 qualified ships officers needs to be increased to 850,000. If half the existing officers retire by 2030, that means 600,000 new officers will need to be recruited and trained starting right now.
This issue was the catalyst for the 2015 theme for World Maritime Day, 'Maritime education and training'. To be celebrated on September 24, the theme provides the opportunity to highlight the importance of a concerted effort to ensure sufficient quantity and quality maritime education and training are available to meet the sector's needs now and in the future.
Jamaica's maritime entities have partnered to commemorate this theme with a week of activities running from September 20-24. They begin with a thanksgiving church service on Sunday, September 20, followed by the formal launch of Maritime Awareness Week on Monday, September 21, at the Caribbean Maritime Institute, which will also mount an educational exposition. Students will also be given tours of various ports across the country to expand their knowledge of the sector. Highlighting the week's activities, an academic conference with the theme 'Last Mile Logistics - the Promises and the Possibilities for the Caribbean' will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre from September 23 to 24 in partnership with the Shanghai Maritime University and the SEFACIL Foundation.
The newly formed Women in Maritime Caribbean will also host a special fundraising industry dinner on September 23, courtesy of main sponsors Aegean Bunkering (JAM) Ltd - a marine-fuel supplier. Other sponsors are the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority; Lannaman and Morris Shipping; West Indies Petroleum; Port Authority of Jamaica/KCT Services Limited; Gateway Shipping International Limited; Petrojam Limited' and Airports Authority of Jamaica.