September 17, 2020

Maritime Awareness Programme

Maritime: "Connected with the sea, especially in relation to seaborne trade or naval matters."

Ocean:  "A very large expanse of sea, in particular each of the main areas into which the sea is divided geographically."

Maritime awareness can be described as the ignition of consciousness on the marine and maritime sector through knowledge generation, showcasing careers, opportunities and marine conservation.

The national Maritime Awareness Programme is intended to raise consciousness that South Africa is a maritime nation and by growing awareness of the opportunities for careers, employment, business and upliftment of communities, we aim to grow participation in the oceans economy and position South Africa as Africa’s leading maritime nation.

The programme considers five key aspects:

• Creating a maritime culture through exposure and knowledge,

• Youth development,

• Skills development,

• Women empowerment in the sector, and

• Ensuring the conservation of the oceans. 

The Maritime Awareness Programme aims to achieve the following key objectives:

• Engaging civil society and all other stakeholders to improve awareness on maritime issues

• Raising awareness of the impacts of human actions on the ocean; and to mobilise and unite the nation behind a project of sustainable global ocean management 

• We have a maritime culture and recognise and learn from our maritime history 

• Promoting skills development and employment opportunities in the maritime and oceans sector.

To achieve the objectives of the programme requires an integrated approach of various stakeholders that promotes partnership of government, private sector, tertiary institutions and the community. The stakeholders are meant to guide what needs to be optimised at the different suggested phases of the MAP. Currently, through the Operation Phakisa initiative most government entities, private sector and tertiary institutions have been actively involved in growing the oceans economy from a high level platform, however, more work needs to be done to promote maritime consciousness of the community and society in general.

Having highlighted the need to expand the awareness in the community and society, it is imperative to emphasise that society is broad and includes different sects of various interest groups. With this difference emerges the need to propose a maritime awareness programme that addresses the needs of different people. For example acknowledging and learning from maritime history and heritage, rural and urban empowerment on economy, coastal and non-coastal communities participation, skilled and unskilled employment opportunities, employed and unemployed, youth and women all requires a multiple approach to create an inclusive awareness that caters for all categories.

The Maritime Awareness Programme is promoted and functions under the theme DIVE IN to foster the three various interlinked phases (see figure below). 

Phase One:

Create sustainable outreach initiatives with school learners (primary and high school) and youth (specifically unemployed) to become more aware of the ocean in terms of career opportunities, leisure activities, instilling discipline and becoming responsible for their own future. Focus must also be made to promote awareness in disadvantaged groups such as the disabled and women. 

Phase Two:

Through engagement with relevant stakeholders enable capacity building of teachers, coaches and mentors to impart knowledge and awareness of the oceans’ advantages. This is done through seminars and workshops across the country using approaches that our different partners recommend and suggest (Train the trainer approach). 

Phase Three: 

Partner and support stakeholders through maritime careers expos and job summits to create, build and sustain awareness and interest in all aspects of the maritime sector amongst learners, educators and potential employees, leading them to seek out careers and employment opportunities in the maritime sector. 

• The Maritime Careers Expo creates, builds and sustains awareness and interest in all aspects of the maritime sector amongst learners, educators and potential employees, leading them to seek out careers and employment opportunities in the maritime sector. 

• The Maritime Job Summit provides a platform to engage with decision makers in both public and private sectors in availing information on job opportunities in the maritime sector, placement opportunities and job enablers, and to also unpack and address challenges related to jobs in the maritime sector.

The Maritime Awareness Programme will bring maritime wealth to the people of South Africa through creative avenues that are: 

• Informative, impactful and inspirational

• Professional, solution driven and entrepreneurial 

• Diagnostic 

• Fun

• Showcases business opportunities and the chance to experience the maritime world of work, with real life case studies.