Skills development still a key priority for SA maritime economic sector: SAMSA

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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Head Office. Pretoria.

Pretoria: 10 September 2018

Talent nurturing as part of a broad based skills development strategy for South Africa’s economy, but particularly the country’s maritime economic sector, remains a top priority according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

The remarks by SAMSA Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi came at the weekend as the government agency hosted a send-off event for one of its employees, Mr Siphosenkosi Mthembu who jetted off on Saturday to Malmo, Sweden for a two-year academic study at the World Maritime University.

Mr Mthembu will be pursuing a Master’s level course of study in Shipping and Logistics,  supported by both the Transport  Education Training Authority (TETA) and SAMSA.

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SPREADING WINGS: (From Left) Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) congratulating the agency employee, Mr Siphosenkosi Mthembu who jetted off to Sweden at the weekend to begin his year and half Master’s level maritime studies at the World Maritime University.

Mr Mthembu embarks on the academic study in Europe having spent close on six (6) years as an employee of SAMSA in its certification unit, a service record that began in 2013 shortly after he’d completed his junior degree in maritime studies at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), following to which he also acquired a post graduate degree in maritime studies through the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

SAMSA’s support of Mr Mthembu includes his retention as an employee of the organization on his return in a year and a half from 2018.

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Mr Sipho Mthembu (Centre back with blue jacket) with family and colleagues at SAMSA during a send-off gathering on Thursday last week at SAMSA Head Office, Pretoria to wish him ‘bon voyage’ to the World Maritime University in Sweden where he will spend the next two years.

Speaking shortly after an event on Thursday last week to bid Mr Mthembu farewell, and which was attended by some of his family members, Mr Tilayi said that while South Africa’s economy currently was being battered on all sides by indicators that clearly reflected that not all was well, it was not time to fold arms and prepare for better times.

The drive towards improvement of education and skills development and placement of especially talented South African through institutions of learning, in the country and abroad, should not slow down but speed up

“We are very tight on skills particularly in the maritime economic sector and it is initiatives of this nature that we want to support as SAMSA. It is people like Sipho who’ve demonstrated talent that we want to lend all the support we can.”

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks, click on the three minutes video below.

For his part, Mr Mthembu was ecstatic for having gained the opportunity and support to further his maritime education studies particularly at an international institution dedicated to education and training in the sector. He will be joining the ranks of several other South Africans who have studied at World Maritime University since the programme was initiated by SAMSA jointly with other partners about four years.

For a brief chat with Mr Mthembu click on the three minutes video below.

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