Stakeholders in the maritime industry have commenced A five-day training session on bunkering and shipping industry, with emphasis on safety, pollution prevention and security.
The workshop, an initiative of the DDS Knowledge Centre Ltd, in collaboration with Lloyds Register Marine, Dubai opened Monday at Voilà hotel, in Bagatelle.
It aims at providing training to some 14 company directors and managerial officers involved in the petroleum and logistics industry so as to better acquaint them with the different elements of this sector.
Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, Mr Soodesh S. Callichurn, recalled that in a bid to make Mauritius a high income economy, the Government has strong ambitions for the enhancement of the harbour of Port Louis.
With this maritime development, transshipment activities and bunkering industry in Mauritius will see its potential develop considerably to become a leader in the Indian Ocean and eventually become a major source of job creation, he said.
In the wake of the prevailing challenges such as oil spills, piracy, terrorism, drug trafficking and smuggling in the maritime sector, the Minister underlined the need for fully trained personnel with a sound safety culture, a pollution prevention awareness and a deep knowledge of security procedures on board ships, most particularly for a Small Island Developing State like Mauritius.
The bunkering industry, according to Minister Callichurn,is an innovative sector that offers tremendous employment opportunities adding that if young Mauritians are given the necessary training and tools, they can excel in this field and they can further betrained to replace foreigners currently working in the local bunkering sector. He expressed his optimism that the youth can eventually be encouraged to seek employment overseas.
Given that his Ministry has a mandate for training, Mr Callichurn pointed out that he will ensure that the DDS Knowledge Centre Ltd collaborates to offer greater training ventures in this field with a view to secure further possibilities of employment both locally and internationally for Mauritian youth. He called for more collaboration between theprivate and public sectors for the implementation of such training programmes.
With regard to unemployment, the Minister pointedthat the rate is decreasing in Mauritius, from 8.5% in the 1st Quarter of 2015 to 6.6% in the 4th Quarter of 2016. In parallel, youth unemployment decreased from 30 % in the 1st Quarter of 2015 to 24% in the 3rd Quarter of 2016.
In face of the global challenges, Government will leave no stone unturned to curtail the unemployment issue further, said the Minister.