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Namibian Maritime Councillor visits maritime members to discuss skills training and industry needs

Following a successful online meeting hosted by SABA in November, exploring the requirements and potential partnerships in TVET and skills training, a visit to Scotland was arranged for Mr Pinehas Auene, Maritime Councillor at the Namibian High Commission in London and Namibia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisations.

Mr Auene, seconded from the Namibian Ministry of Works and Transport, has been tasked with building engagement with Scotland around maritime and offshore skills training, increasing the use of renewables, including hydrogen, in the maritime sector, improving port logistics and security and increasing Namibia’s position as a hub for ship building, repair and maintenance.

The visit was organised and coordinated through SABA which saw the itinerary focus on meeting with the Scottish supply chain and training providers who could contribute to the development of the Namibian maritime sector.

The first day consisted of a visit to SABA member, City of Glasgow College, to discuss partnerships in maritime training and education, hosted by Roy Gardner and Carla Gethin.

The focus of which was around Namibian institutions and government looking to partner with Scottish training organisations to end reliance on overseas mariners and further development of the local workforce.

Namibia is looking to develop a strategy to encourage young Namibians to look at the maritime sector for their careers. City of Glasgow College have a lot of experience in this area with discussions on similar schemes in Scotland and how this can be adapted to international markets.

An afternoon visit was then arranged to Clyde Training Solutions (CTS) for a tour of their facilities and to discuss training across offshore oil & gas, renewables and maritime. This was hosted by Scott Bissett, CTS General manager with an emphasis on partnerships with local Namibian training providers.

The meetings on the second day where hosted by a few SABA Members including Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Strathclyde University and Stone Marine Services (SMS).

Lauren Hadnum, Clean Maritime Manager of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult held discussions around the maritime sector moving to net zero and linking into Namibia’s hydrogen projects. The ORE Catapult can then be connected with relevant organisations in Namibia to include them in projects.

This was followed by a meeting with Jenny Gazzard, Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean, and Marine engineering at Strathclyde University who presented several of their current projects on renewable energy in the marine sector with opportunities for Namibian universities and researchers to join and collaborate. Discussed as part of this was also the potential pathway for Namibian students in the sector to study at Strathclyde University and for the development of educational links between the university and Namibian institutions.

The day then concluded with a visit to SABA member Stone Marine Services and meeting their Director Ryan McIntyre. Discussions centred on SMS’s current base in Namibia and the possibilities of expanding their core business as well as their success working in Namibia including training local engineers.

Day three involved a visit to SABA members Sercel hosted by Director Graham Howe. Sercel spoke of their intended partnership and investment in Namibia with a wide range of subjects covered which will be applicable for the wider SABA membership, including:

  • The development of Namibia as a logistics hub for Southern Africa

  • The development of green hydrogen and ammonia facilities

  • The potential ratification of the FAL convention to support initiatives such as the Maritime Single Window

  • An increased focus on maritime security as an issue of national interest

  • The increase of cargo created by the new terminal, moving from 350,000 TEUs to 750,000 TEUs a year

A visit to Namibia by Sercel was agreed as well as introductions to relevant authorities during this trip.

Over the course of the trip several positive outcomes were identified and agreed with SABA including:

  • The Namibian Training Authority and Ministry of Education to send a senior delegation to begin discussions on partnerships with a range a SABA member, both in consortia and individually

  • A SABA trade mission to Namibia focussing on marine and offshore skills training in 2023

  • Immediate online, targeted, round tables with key stakeholders in Scotland and Namibia

This was the next step in a longer process with outcomes now focussing on a delegation visit to Scotland in early 2023, led by the Minister of Education and the Namibian Training Authority to visit SABA members and hold discussions on furthering potential partnerships.

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