During uncertainties for the future of maritime industries and coastal shipping in Australia, Maritime Industry Australia warns that in spite of expected increases in demand for seafaring skills, there is no increase in training options for new workers.
Specifically, only 8% of Australia's 5646 seafarers and onshore workers are under 30 years of age, while 52% are older than 46.
Moreover, local media report that that according to a new report, there will be increases in demand by 2023, by as much as 11.6% for seafarers working at sea and 17.7% for those working onshore. In addition, an 11% increase in demand for future workers in training is also expected.
The fact that the Australian shipping industry has a large vessel trading fleet, and a traditional training ground, is damaging skills development. This is very important to working on ships as well as for shore-based employment.
Regarding the workforce projections for the next five years, employers believe that they would need about 10% increase in engineer officers and a 13.2% rise for master and deck officers.
Furthermore, 85% of organisations reported that they did not employ foreign seafarers.
Finally, Australian-flagged and crewed ships are costing operators around $7 million a year more than foreign vessels. This fact is limiting businesses' competitiveness and is hurting the viability of the shipping sector.