The government plans to recruit at least 40,000 seafarers annually, a move that will make the country achieve its target of having 200,000 seafarers on ships by the year 2027.
The Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Mr. Shadrack Mwadime said the recruitment of the seafarers is aligned with theBottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda of the Kenya Kwanza Administration to create jobs for the unemployed and underemployed youth.
“This programme will secure the full development and alignment of hospitality, engineering and other sectors with seafaring skills to create good jobs,” said Mwadime.
The PS who was speaking in his office at NSSF building in Nairobi said, the government’s vision of building a Trusted Kenyan Seafarer is aimed at yielding at least Ksh. 3.983 trillion in remittances over 35 years.
Mwadime said the Blue Economy agenda in the country which is defined to fisheries and maritime subsectors, once implemented will attract investment, drive manufacturing and industrialization, generate tax revenues and create good jobs and wealth for the citizenry.
He said according to recent statistics, the number of seafarers in the country has been increasing yearly, citing the rise in the year 2016 to 1000, in 2020 was at 2000 while by February 2023 it had reached 6, 890 respectively.
As per the Kenya Maritime Authority recruitment and placement system by February 2023 the number of seafarers onboard ships was 488, in process of recruitment was 2000, ongoing contracts was 2000, on leave was 980, on training and ongoing refresher courses was 512 while those in between jobs was 1000.
The PS has also assured trainees undertaking shipping and maritime courses in the local universities and colleges that the government will ensure they get advanced training, adding that the State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs was urging partners to offer scholarships to graduates to pursue advanced courses.
By Bernadette Khaduli