Specialist maritime services provider Smit Amandla Marine reports that there is a lot of interest in the company’s cadet training scheme, particularly from learners at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
Spokesperson Clare Gomes states that the recruitment, training, development and retaining of future maritime professionals are a key focus for the company.
“We promote the maritime industry as a possible career path for high school learners from across the country. The company operates extensively along South Africa’s coastline.”
Smit Amandla Marine recently promoted its cadet training scheme at the Maritime Industry Focus Week, in Johannesburg. The event was organised by the national agency responsible for the environmental protection and safety of the maritime environment, the South African Maritime Safety Authority.
Further, the company has developed an online resource for students and learners to learn more about this career path and determine whether they are suited to a career at sea.
“We recruit very carefully and partner with the South African Maritime Training Academy to screen candidates,” says Gomes.
To be accepted into the programme, learners need a matric pass mark of at least 60% for both maths and science.
The rank of merchant navy officer, as opposed to a merchant navy rating, requires that a learner complete an additional year of navigation or marine engineering studies at the maritime studies department or engineering faculty at CPUT or DUT respectively.
For a merchant navy rating, one needs a senior certificate, but mathematics and science are not required.
Once cadets are qualified, they are immediately employable as either deck officers or engineering officers. Time at sea is mandatory to complete the qualification.
Gomes states that Smit Amandla Marine recruits an average of seven to ten cadets a year and welcomed ten new cadets to its scheme on January 30.
Twenty South African cadets are currently participating in the training scheme, which has been running for eight years.
“Despite a global economic recession, we have been able to maintain a steady investment in our people and the communities in which we operate and have successfully established a talent pipeline to ensure sustainability in competence and skill.
“The pursuit of safe operations and continued service excellence remain key drivers, as does the continued development of a sustainable pool of small, medium- sized and microenterprises and black-owned suppliers,” says Smit Amandla Marine MD Paul Maclons.
He adds that the company is well positioned for the future.
In the last quarter of 2011, Smit Amandla Marine was awarded several key contracts in South Africa and Mozambique.
It successfully tendered for two contracts issued by national oil company PetroSA for the provision of a South African-manned DP 11 vessel for the F-O field development operations, in 2012, and for the management of PetroSA’s marine loading facility and E-BT terminal.
“We also introduced a new vessel into our terminal operation in Durban,” says Gomes. This project, in which Smit Amandla Marine invested R55-million, was undertaken for crude oil refinery Sapref in November last year.
Maclons is pleased with the company’s performance, noting that it tabled a growth strategy at the end of 2009, which outlined its intent to pursue business opportunities in Southern and East Africa, as well as in the Indian Ocean Islands, while retaining its foothold in South Africa.
“In the last 24 months, we have secured a good foothold in Mozambiqu,e with a key harbour towage contract in the Port of Beira, and, more recently, a significant marine services contract with mining company Vale, which included the provision of two vessels, marine services and an offshore terminal out of Beira,” he notes.
Maclons adds that the company has been actively pursuing growth opportunities in Namibia, Madagascar and Mauritius