Jul 19, 2013

Training Australia’s future maritime workforce

The Transport and Logistics Centre will administer new training incentives to bolster Australia’s maritime workforce as part of the Federal Labor Government’s Freight and Maritime Package.

Under this package, $5 million has been made available to assist Australia’s shipping industry to meet its future training needs. This funding will go towards new training incentives, a biennial census of the maritime workforce and the development of a demand aggregation model to identify future training requirements.

This is in line with the key recommendations made by the Maritime Workforce Development Forum earlier this year.

The training incentives will get our up-and-coming maritime workforce out on the water where they get the hands-on skills that will boost our economy into the future. This initiative will provide $10,000 per trainee and $20,000 per engineer or officer for positions on ships for mandatory at-sea training.

As an island nation we depend on ships and the crews that sail them to connect the Australian economy to the rest of the world.

Our maritime workforce is ageing. 47 per cent of our seafarer workforce is aged 50 years or older.  There are simply not enough new entrants to the maritime workforce to meet industry’s forecasted demand into the future.

These are not skills that Australia cannot afford to lose. We need to find ways to make a career in maritime a career of choice.

To do that we need to ensure that Australia continues to offer high quality training, including practical experience at sea.

The commitment by this government is a co-contribution to the cost of training. It is government working with industry to recruit, train and retain our future maritime workers now.

Together, these initiatives will support the growth of Australian maritime capability and promote trade and economic growth.