A steady stream of Angolan seafarers are passing through South African training centres and institutions as that country puts its weight behind a programme to create a pool of merchant navy seafarers for both its local off-shore and international shipping industries.
One company that is closely involved with this programme says the Angolan example is a good indication of what can be achieved in a partnership between the public and private sectors to create jobs in industries where citizens of Southern Africa have had limited access in the past.
Training executive at Marine Crew Services, Deanna Collins, says the Angolan government together with shipping companies involved in the off-shore industry provide strong support for the marine training courses offered by the various expert service providers in South Africa. "Young Angolans are attracted to the fast growing off-shore oil industry and both the public and private sectors realise that these new entrants to the merchant navy need the required skills and are providing the funding to do something about it."
"This is an excellent example for all countries in Africa and we have no doubt that Angola will see the results not only in increased employment for its people in the off-shore industry, but also in their placement in the shipping fleets of the world."
Ms Collins says a number of merchant marine training providers in South Africa are offering training for the Angolans, with some students coming down from Angola to attend statutory short courses in marine safety, while a large number of students are enrolled in two-year diploma courses at tertiary educational institutions to achieve their academic qualifications before embarking on a period of practical experience at sea as either engineering of navigational cadets.
Marine Crew Services is a black empowered company which was founded three years ago with the specific goal of helping to increase the numbers of South Africans who have access to careers in the maritime world