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Consider professions in the maritime industry

Published:Tuesday | September 22, 2015 | 9:00 AM
Admiral Peter Brady

Consider professions in the maritime industry

Careers at sea are attractive and viable options for the young people of Jamaica and the region, and this is the focus as we celebrate World Maritime Day on Thursday, September 24, 2015.

The day is designated by the United Nation's International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which has responsibility for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. One of its safety functions relate to the training and certification of seafarers, which it does through the International Conventions for the Standards of Training and Certification of Seafarers (STCW), to which Jamaica is a signatory country. This year's theme is 'Maritime Education and Training'.

One of the main thrusts of this outreach effort is to inspire younger generations to consider professions in the maritime industry. Opportunities include seafaring - but are not limited to careers at sea. They also include careers as marine engineers, maritime lawyers, marine managers, administrators, and policymakers, as well as many other types of highly-trained professionals at every level. Attracting and retaining such talent is a priority for Jamaica as an emerging maritime State, as we get into high gear to develop the country as a logistics hub.

The maritime industry has been, and continues to be, an integral part of Jamaica's history and an engine of our economic development. With the second-largest trans-shipment hub in the Caribbean, Jamaica, boasts a vibrant shipping industry that operates at international standards. Jamaica has consistently sought to continue developing its maritime infrastructure.

This year's focus on education and training is timely, as an additional 42,500 officers will be needed globally by the end of 2019 to cope with the expected growth in the world's main cargo-carrying fleet, according to a new report from UK-based shipping consulting firm Drewry.

We are ready to help fill this gap.

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) is the focal point in the Caribbean for the IMO, which sets the training and certification standards for the seafaring profession. Additionally, the MAJ approves the standard, examines and certifies candidates, ensuring they have the necessary skills and competence that prepare our Jamaican seafarers to meet the global standards.

We also laud the efforts of our maritime partner, the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), as they increase their capacity to meet the global demand for a growing supply of skilled workers in the shipping sector. The only IMO-accredited officer training institute in the English-speaking Caribbean, CMI produces highly qualified seafarers trained at international standards.

CMI is the leading institution in the Caribbean for the administration of approved maritime education and training in keeping with the IMO's Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping.

Beyond our borders are the World Maritime University in Sweden and the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta, which offer maritime-related degrees up to the PhD level.

Together with these institutions, our two organisations in Jamaica work hand in hand to ensure that standards of training are kept at international levels, and that we help create a diverse workforce ready to meet the challenges of the day.

Admiral Peter Brady

Director General

Maritime Authority of

Jamaica