MIAL SEA18 Conference

October 15 & 16
Hotel Realm, Canberra



MIAL's SEA18 was a great success!  MIAL would like to thank the SEA18 sponsors:

Maritime businesses united on need to address skills crisis at SEA18

Australia is facing a critical maritime skills shortage which must be addressed with a fresh approach to meet the current and future needs of the Australian economy. This was the clear message from delegates of the MIAL SEA18 Conference on Skilling Our Maritime Nation.

The MIAL Seafaring Skills Census, the first results of which were released at SEA18 yesterday, has identified a disparity between the projected seagoing skills training and the likely demand for those skills across the economy over the next five years. It takes upwards of 10 years working and training on a suitable vessel to achieve the skill set that is required to service many critical shore-based roles.

MIAL Chief Executive Officer, Teresa Lloyd said ‘’SEA18 saw a cross section of key maritime industry representatives, all in violent agreement that we have a serious problem on our hands”.

“It is clear that we do not have an attraction issue. The cost of training for strategically important skills is a burden that is born by an ever-shrinking pool of industry participants” she said.

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack addressed delegates over breakfast and recognised the importance of the maritime industry to the nation’s economy. Throughout the day, conference participants heard from a range of maritime businesses, the Navy, seafarer training organisations as well as end users of critical maritime skills about some of the novel approaches being adopted in an attempt to meet short term demand.

In closing the conference, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, the Hon. Anthony Albanese reiterated his commitment to stemming the decline in the Australian merchant fleet. “Australia needs a vibrant and strong maritime industry” he said.

“There is a need to maintain a pool of people with seafaring skills and experience to fill jobs in the shore based maritime related sectors of the economy”. Drawing on elements of the MIAL Coastal Trading Green Paper, such as the establishment of a ‘strategic fleet’ and an expanded seafarers income tax regime Mr Albanese committed a Labour government to seeking a bipartisan approach to secure the future of the Australian shipping industry.

“Simply put, we want to see more Australian seafarers crewing more Australian flagged ships carrying more Australian goods around our coastline and to markets overseas” Mr Albanese said.

Ms Lloyd welcomed the comments from the Shadow Minister saying “while we have heard about a number of fantastic novel approaches that the industry is employing itself to address the short term need for these critical skills, we need a long term vision and a bipartisan approach to address the structural maritime training issues the nation is facing”

Further information: MIAL Seafaring Skills Census Future Proofing the Nation’s Strategic Skills

Please find the final Media Release here.