Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral Peter Brady is calling on the "brightest and best" young Jamaicans to consider a career in seafaring.
The MAJ Director General, who is chair of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) committee responsible for the training and certification of seafarers, said that there is a global shortage of approximately 30,000 to 35,000 seafarers at the officer class.
He noted that the vacancies are not being filled at the anticipated rate, and that Jamaica is well placed to gain from such employment opportunities, if more persons pursue careers in seafaring.
"If we .start providing competent seafarers, what it means for Jamaica is employment. You also help the economy, as it is proven that a fair amount of a seafarer's salary is remitted to their country," Rear Admiral Brady said, while addressing a JIS Think Tank held yesterday (September 14) at the agency's headquarters on Half-Way- Tree Road. He also pointed to the multicultural experiences that seafarers stand to gain.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Fritz Pinnock noted that although seafaring is not a traditional career in Jamaica, it is viable option that many should consider instead of some of the more popular or oversubscribed choices.
"I am presenting the seafaring career as a real professional field that we want top quality, ambitious Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals to be looking towards," he stated. "It is not an easy course, but it is a good course and can be rewarding also," he added.
Seafaring will be the focus of National Maritime Awareness Week, from September 19 to 24 under the theme: '2010, Year of the Seafarers'.
Activities get underway on Sunday (Sept.19) with a national church service at the Morant Bay Anglican Church in St. Thomas, starting at 8:30 a.m., followed by a Fisherman's Regatta at the newly renovated Lyssons Beach in the parish.
On Monday (Sept. 20), the CMI will stage an oath of allegiance ceremony for trainee seafarers and launch of its three-day open day activities; and on Wednesday, (Sept. 22), will host a guidance counsellors' symposium on careers in the maritime industry.
A newspaper supplement on the achievements of the local maritime industry will be carried in The Gleaner of Tuesday (Sept. 21).