The Young SMOU (YSMOU) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) co-organised the bi-annual Young Mariners’ Networking event on 24th November 2021. Close to 100 youths, comprising students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA), and members from YSMOU, participated in the event. The main focus of the virtual event was on the mental health talk to raise the importance of it to the youths.
Ms Pauline Chia, a certified counsellor with the Singapore Association of Counsellor, shared mental health struggles and symptoms to look out for. During the sharing, the participants also gained insights on the different types of self-care practices they can adopt, and what they can do to support others in distress.
Following that, MPA and YSMOU took the opportunity to share more about maritime-related matters with the young audience, giving them a glimpse of the maritime industry and seafaring career they will soon step into. Mr Raymond Lee, Senior Marine Surveyor of Flag State Control, MPA, talked about his seafaring journey and his motivation to sail to the rank of Chief Engineer.
Raymond, who had sailed for ten years before he stepped ashore, further shared how he had progressed over the years to become a more resilient individual through his experiences whilst sailing.
To explain more on how the young seafarers can tap on the scholarship available in seafaring, Mr Tay Yeow Min, Assistant Director of IMC Manpower Development with MPA, talked about the Tripartite Maritime Scholarship (TMSS). He gave an overview of TMSS’ structure, and elaborated on two different tracks and the progression pathways that attendees of the event might be eligible for – Full-term TMSS and Mid-term TMSS. Yeow Min also clarified the differences between the two tracks, answering several questions from the audience. He then took the opportunity to encourage the students to apply for the scholarship and gave them tips on how to build on their maritime career.
Finally, YSMOU Chairman Mr Dominic Yong shed light on what the union does, how the union assists members in times of difficulty and explained the rights of a seafarer. The session concluded with a Q&A segment, where the youths came forward to have their doubts clarified.
It was a fruitful virtual event, with the youths having gained awareness of mental health. The session also helped them understand how they can progress in their seafaring career with the scholarship, and showed them how vital a part the union plays in their seafaring career.
“I believe having a discussion on mental health is particularly important, especially for my peers onboard who might not be able to easily open up and seek help early. The whole session was helpful as a whole, and the sharing by Mr Raymond Lee from MPA on his sailing journey was quite insightful in the future possibilities of those who choose to come back onshore.”
Nery Koh, 4th Engineer (SMOU Member)
“The mental health talk was useful for me – like knowing the symptoms and signs of mental disorders and what can I do to help them. The sharing by SMOU was also helpful for me as I now know about the problems that I may encounter in a seafaring career, and the rights that I have as a seafarer.”
Muhammad Al-Luqmanhakim, SMA – Diploma in Marine Engineering, Engine Cadet
“I found the session beneficial and very informative for students who are interested in the maritime industry. Understanding the progression and career opportunities was particularly insightful for me.”
Noer Zat, ITE – Higher Nitec in Marine Engineering