July 03, 2024

Empowering Maritime Talent

A Year of Progress in SAIMI's Strategic Partnership with IMEC and SAMTRA

In the expansive maritime sector, education and skills development serve as fundamental pillars of progress. With a dedicated focus on advancing the maritime industry by nurturing talent and fostering innovation, the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) as the custodian of the qualification process, and the South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA), embarked on a collaboration with the International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC) last year in May 2023, introducing the IMEC South African Cadet Training Programme.

IMEC is a global association of maritime employers' organizations, representing the interests of over 260 maritime employers located all over the world. It provides a platform for dialogue and cooperation among employers in the maritime industry, advocating for policies and practices that support the growth and sustainability of the sector.

In response to the growing need for a more diverse global maritime workforce, the aim of the IMEC partnership with SAIMI, SAMSA, and SAMTRA is to provide training berths to aspiring South African seafarers. The programme, which is part of the National Seafarer Development Programme, a training initiative managed by SAIMI and backed by the government through the National Skills Fund (NSF), offers opportunities for all South African nationals seeking to fulfill their shipboard training (Work Integrated Learning) as part of working towards obtaining a Deck or Engineering Officer qualification.

SAIMI's overarching objective remains cultivating a highly skilled and competent maritime workforce capable of meeting the demands of a dynamic global industry. Through strategic partnerships and proactive initiatives like this, SAIMI bridges the gap between academic training and practical industry needs, ensuring sustained growth and competitiveness in South Africa's maritime sector.

By joining forces with IMEC through the SA Cadetship MOA, SAIMI, SAMSA, and SAMTRA have unlocked new avenues of opportunity for aspiring South African cadets, enabling them to gain invaluable seagoing experience aboard trading vessels under the guidance of industry professionals.

This past year has seen significant progress in the partnership. The total number of cadets enrolled in the programme now stands at 57, distributed among various partner organizations. Maersk leads with 27 Deck Cadets and 22 Engine Cadets, followed by BSM with 4 ETO Cadets, CSM with 2 Deck Cadets, and V-Ships with 2 Engine Cadets. By combining their strengths and resources, it would seem IMEC, SAIMI, SAMSA, and SAMTRA have developed a comprehensive solution to addressing the global shortage of skilled seafarers.

Coinciding with SAMSA's recent announcement affirming South Africa's International Maritime Organization (IMO) Whitelist accreditation status, this partnership also enhances the global competitiveness of South African seafarers. It underscores SAIMI's commitment to facilitating access to world-class training opportunities for aspiring maritime professionals.

Currently, IMEC, SAIMI and SAMTRA are also engaged with IMEC members to expand the scope of recruitment in South Africa with the upcoming AGM in the UK.

Together they are continuing the journey towards a future where South African seafarers are recognized as global leaders in the maritime industry, driving innovation, growth, and prosperity on both local and international fr

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