Marine Industry Skills Forum

A marine industry skills forum to be held in Brisbane by the National Marine Safety Committee on 10th and 11th July will allow the industry to provide input on strategies to tackle the sector’s skills shortage.

NMSC’s CEO Maurene Horder said the Marine Competencies Industry Forum will bring together representatives from the commercial and recreational maritime sectors, training and government to define the problems and develop plans to meet skills requirements.

Australia’s marine industries are major contributors to the Australian economy. For example, in 2002/03, ship building and repair; boat building and repair; marinas and marine equipment retailers; and boating infrastructure employed 14 800 people, turning over AUD $5.1 billion in revenue.* However, Ms Horder explained that employers are finding it harder to attract new recruits and retain skilled staff.

'We will be outlining the current skills situation in Australia, and will explore new training initiatives for the marine industry.'

Ms Horder went on to say that the marine industry was diverse and was made up of several sectors – each with its own particular skills base and needs.

'In response to this, forum attendees will be able to choose from three streamed workshops to match their area of interest.'

On Tuesday 10 July, the plenary session will focus on defining key skills issues, and the workshops will feature: the Australian Marine Industry Federation’s strategy; sea time requirements; and the process of developing competencies to match industry needs.

NMSC representatives will outline a project to implement the training and licensing policy directions of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Communiqué to help overcome the skills shortage.

'This project will change the way the skills shortage is addressed by adopting a national approach towards apprenticeships, training and skills recognition.'
Wednesday 11 July deals with how to meet skills requirements with industry leaders to address the needs of the seafood, engineering, charter vessel, trading and boat building and repairs sectors. Workshops will aim to identify strategies to overcome skills barriers in commercial vessel operations, boat building and engineering.

*Source: The Allen Consulting Group - Report to the Federal Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, March 2005

Dates: Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th July 2007
Venue: Brisbane Marriott Hotel 515 Queen Street BRISBANE QLD 4000
Registration forms and further information can be downloaded from