Blogs (Career Inspiration Articles)

Maritimes they are a-changin’

As many of Australia’s maritime workers are approaching retirement age, an opportunity for young, eager workers is emerging. 

Maritimes they are a-changin’

Due to a variety of factors, Australians are working up to a much older average age than ever before. This is causing somewhat of a bottleneck in the job market, with older workers preventing subsequent waves of workers from progressing at the regular rate. And these bottlenecks have discouraged and prevented many people from entering a wide variety of specialised professions, and has forced others to leave the industry for greener pastures.   

However, as the workforces for those specialised professions approach retirement age, a gap in the job market is beginning to form, and one that will soon need filling.   

Folk on the water 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the workforce of Australia’s Maritime industry is one of the oldest in the country, with 49% of workers aged 45 or older. As a large percentage of the existing workers within the industry approach retirement age, employment is expected to almost double in the next eight years across the various maritime operations. 

Thankfully, measures are being put into place for those experienced workers to undertake mentoring and leadership training, to help impart their skills and technical knowledge onto the next generation of maritime workers, before they retire. And as the complexity of shipping technology and systems exponentially increases, this is putting even more pressure on the existing maritime workforce. 

All hands on tech 

As the average age of maritime workers increases, the risk of a widening skills gap between the workforce and new maritime technological systems and processes becomes an ever growing concern for the industry.  

With the maritime industry incorporating more and more cutting edge technologies and innovative practices into its daily work routine, skills relating to these technologies and practices will be required. To ensure the workforce is suitably qualified and can meet the demands of new shipping systems, established workers will need to be retrained to maintain their current positions as well as ensure their career progression. Additionally, those entering the industry will have the training incorporated into their certification programs.  

A job in the ocean 

Australia’s eastern seaboard is a hub for national and international maritime operations, and more than 75% of employers in the maritime industry have reported that they have experienced a skills shortage in the last year. 

The data suggests the shortage is primarily for Domestic Commercial Vessel occupations, specifically:  

  1. Marine engine drivers  
  2. Small vessel masters (under 35m)  
  3. Deckhands  
  4. Managers  
  5. Educators, trainers and assessors 

TAFE NSW has maritime courses that lead to each of the identified occupations experiencing a shortage. The average weekly salary for a maritime transport professional is $1,675, and qualifications can lead to jobs like maritime transport professional, watchkeeper, shipboard engineer, deckhand or coxswain.

This means that your study at TAFE NSW could launch you towards a maritime career at a rate of knots, to give you a rewarding job at sea. 

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