The bi-annual Young Mariners’ Networking, organised by the Young SMOU (YSMOU) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), was finally held physically, after 2 years of virtual sessions due to the pandemic. On 30 November, the session took place at Devan Nair Institute, with more than 100 participants, students from Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central, YSMOU members as well as invited guests.
Left to right: Nur Fadhiilah, 4th Engineer at Shell International Shipping Services and Captain Muhd Tashriq, Marine Surveyor at MPA
Starting off the session was 4th Engineer Nur Fadhiilah from Shell who shared on her sailing experiences as a young female seafarer and how she overcame challenges such as discrimination, juggling between sea and shore life, and providing advices on adapting to life onboard, to prepare the aspiring seafarers of what is coming ahead of them. Captain Muhammad Tashriq from MPA, who recently transited to shore-based job, inspired the crowd with his story of overcoming the setbacks he faced while pursuing to be a Master Mariner. He also further shared how his sailing experience has helped managed his work better, and the struggles faced due to lack of knowledge in certain areas.
Besides having the first-hand knowledge of a seafaring career and progression back ashore, the youth also get to learn about the current digital maritime technologies which helped increase the productivity in the maritime industry. Ms Neo Jia Ling from MPA, explained some of the technologies that Singapore is using, which allows a smoother transition of the vessel, and optimising the port stay, whenever it calls Singapore port.
Rounding off the sharing was YSMOU Chairman Dominic Yong who shared about the union’s role and work– how it was established to safeguard the interest and well-being of seafaring officers as well as some of the activities which SMOU does to promote good industrial relations with shipping companies, and amongst the members. A panel discussion with the speakers followed after and saw the enthusiastic response from audience as they raised queries on the subject matter and interacted with the panel. Questions raised included career transition from sea to shore, maritime skill sets required for the different types of jobs, as well as available scholarship for maritime-related studies.
After the sharing sessions participants proceeded to a networking dinner which served as a platform for both industry seniors and juniors to share and learn from each other as they spoke about their seafaring experiences and career. The networking session ultimately allowed for the youths to gain a deeper understanding of maritime-related issues as well as better inform cadets on what they can expect upon entering the seafaring career.
“I wanted to speak to the students today to inspire them to pursue a maritime career. Maritime networking sessions like these are good channels for youths to get to know people from the industry, expand their horizons, and secure more maritime-contextual knowledge to better prepare them for their careers in future. Keep up the good work SMOU!”
– Captain Muhammad Tashriq, Marine Surveyor (Flag State Control), MPA
“I joined this event as I heard good feedback from my friend who attended it before, and true enough I was not disappointed. Personally, I find the session to be very inspiring and informative as I listened to the officers speak about the challenges and rewarding moments as a seafarer – I look forward to embarking on a similar maritime path as them,”
– Tan Jun Jie Jerrick, ITE College Central – Higher Nitec in Marine Engineering
“This networking session organised by YSMOU and MPA has allowed me to venture out and network with the working personnel who have already been in the maritime industry for some time. Speaking to different people with diverse backgrounds and experiences allowed me to gain more insights into the various roles which the maritime industry offers and aided me in making a more informed choice regarding my career,”
– Syarifah Quraisyah Bte Abdullah, SMA – Diploma in Nautical Studies