Land-lover? There are maritime jobs for you

Students from Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School attending an electrical boat-building workshop conducted by Ngee Ann Polytechnic course manager Zhou Yili.
Students from Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School attending an electrical boat-building workshop conducted by Ngee Ann Polytechnic course manager Zhou Yili.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Career fair aims to create awareness that the industry offers shore-based careers too

Jobs in the maritime industry are not just for those with sea legs, but also for land-lovers, including those interested in insurance and marketing.

The Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to showcase the sector at the two-day Education and Career Guidance Fair at Republic Polytechnic, which ends today.

MSC was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore last year. Its purpose is to connect students and job seekers to maritime opportunities, and provide easy access to careers, education and training opportunities in the industry.

An MSC spokesman said: "The challenge in hiring people in the maritime industry is that they have a narrow perception of what the job is. These career guidance fairs help people to understand that there are diverse options within the industry itself."

Not all have to be seafarers. There are many shore-based jobs such as maritime insurance, marketing and even law, she added.

Even for those who want a career at sea, MSC has to debunk perceptions that they will be sailing "all their lives" and that the job is tough and isolated.

"They are not at sea all year. Sometimes they stay on the ship for six to nine months, depending on the company, then they could get a few months' break back home with their families," she said.

MSC added that there is a finite pool of maritime graduates and it wants to reach out to graduates from other sectors, such as finance and marketing.

There are about 170,000 people working in the maritime industry across more than 5,000 establishments.

Ms Marianne Choo, who was general manager of the Singapore Shipping Association for about 10 years and is now a corporate development adviser at tanker company Sinanju Tankers, said: "Targeting younger students is good because it opens the industry to them at that age. The shipping industry has been steadily growing and jobs have evolved to demand various skill sets."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2017, with the headline 'Land-lover? There are maritime jobs for you'. Print Edition | Subscribe