Increasing maritime job opportunities in Kenya have remained unexploited due to lack of adequate skills in the sector. Principal Secretary State Department for Maritime and Shipping Affairs Nancy Karigithu said there are more than 520,000 jobs available in the maritime sector but youth have not attained employable skills to access the opportunities. Speaking while commemorating the World Maritime Day, Ms Karigithu said the government will improve on information sharing among youth to ensure they train on unexploited jobs in the sector. “Youth are struggling yet there are thousands of jobs available in the maritime sector but this is as a result of lack of right skills and personal character which we need to exploit them in order to boost regional maritime sector,” said Ms Karigithu. “We need more people to be trained and certified to work in the sector. There’s a shortage of 70,000 top-level officers and 450,000 people who assist them run the ships.” During the commemoration on Friday week, Ms Karigithu urged Kenyans to be keen on maritime trends and take available opportunities. “This sector works very quietly, day and night, and very little is understood about it. We must agree as government we have not been proactive in sharing this but we hope in future will change,” she said. The PS said already the department has mainstreamed the maritime industry to be incorporate into national development goals as well as within Vision 2030 and is the 8th sector under the Economic Pillar that is expected to ensure 10 percent GDP growth for Kenya in the next decade. The government has already enrolled about 2,000 youths yearly in maritime skills training to enable them obtain jobs in international shipping lines which will earn them a minimum of Sh100,000 per month translating to foreign exchange earnings above Sh2.4 billion yearly. This follows a deal between the departments of youth, and that of shipping and maritime. The current maritime job requirements which include adoption of technological skills has forced youth to venture more in information technology training. Currently, all International Maritime Organisations (IMOs) member states are implementing Maritime Single Window System. The system is at an advanced stage and is a mandatory requirement for member states to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports.
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