Knowing the challenges faced by the young seafarers in the Harbour Craft sector, Young SMOU (YSMOU) organised a fireside chat on 6th January to hear from the youths on how the union can work together with them, to further improve the welfare and training needs.
On the Friday evening, the youths streamed in for the fireside chat, and General Secretary Sister Mary Liew opened the session by encouraging all to be candid in their sharing as it will help the union officials understand their situation better and provide any assistance required. In attendance at the session were also Emeritus General Secretary Brother Thomas Tay, Secretary Brother Terence Tan, Young SMOU Chairman Brother Dominic Yong, and Training and Employability Consultant Brother Larry Chan.
During the session, the participants shared on how the career progression of the special limit can be further improved, in order to widen their job opportunities. With more technologies being used in the ship operation, as well as the transition to using ammonia bunker, the participants suggested some training which will be relevant for them and would benefit in their course of work.
The dialogue went deeper, with participants enquiring on matters such as salary and employment contract. Brother Terence, reminded the participants that the employment contract is an important document, and one should keep it well. He also shared that should the seafarers have any concern over their contract, they can always approach the Union to seek advice.
Rounding off the session, Brother Thomas urged the young seafarers to continue to come together, to have a collective voice, in order to push for better welfare for the seafarers.
After the session, YSMOU secretariats and the youths continued the networking over dinner at Lighthouse Bistro, where the youths exchanged tips and advice, and some even took the opportunity to exchange contacts with each other to be updated of any job opportunities available.
“It’s great to know that there is an official entity that is able to represent the local seafarers in the Harbour Craft industry. The event helped provide a platform for me to express the challenges that I’m faced with, together with other seafarers. I appreciate the advice provided by the officials, and at the same time I got to network with others in the process.”
– Abdul Rashid, Young SMOU member of 2 years
The dialogue session enabled the exchange of ideas between union officials and attendees. SMOU values the feedback of our seafarers in the industry, and will continue to engage seafarers further to support them in their career pursuits, and improve their workplace quality.