The shipping industry in the Asian region is really facing an uncertain future due to the unavailability of trained seaman. The Sarawak Deputy Director Of Marine Department, Haji Zahidin Dor called on local shipowners to cooperate with the various government agencies in the training of local seaman.
Meanwhile, Hj Zahidin agreed that recruiting and training of local seaman cost money. However, he said that it is money well-spent. It is a lot cheaper than employing foreign sailors in the long term.
Hj Zahidin was speaking at The World Maritime Day Celebration, Sarawak State Level which took place at the Sarawak Marine Department Complex in Kuching.
He added that such efforts are needed inorder to ensure the continuity and viability of the State’s shipping industry.
"In the long run, it is alot cheaper to use local manpower and compete in the world market. Over dependence on foreign sailor for example those from the Philippines does not augur well for this industry. One foreign sailor means that we are sending thousands of RM out of the country," he said.
"The Sarawak State’s Marine Department have implemented various efforts inorder to attract unemployed youths to attend courses on seamanship and other aspect of sailing," he emphasised further.
For the year 2007, the Marine department of Sarawak have organised several courses which comprised all aspects of modern day sailing. Apart from that Basic Emergency Aid courses are also taught.