The one-hour dialogue and Q&A session between the students and dialogue panellists covered a wide range of issues pertinent to the maritime industry. The growing global competition and the Singapore government’s commitment to the maritime industry through investments in manpower and infrastructure, as well as Singapore’s manpower policies on developing local manpower and talent, and providing quality job opportunities for locals, were among the topics discussed. Other issues of interest for the students included the options for maritime education, scholarship and careers in Singapore.
The Singapore Maritime Dialogue is one of the activities under MaritimeONE, an initiative by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore under the Ministry of Transport, and three other leading industry associations (Singapore Maritime Foundation, Singapore Shipping Association and the Association of Singapore Marine Industries).
Said Mr Michael Chia, Chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and MaritimeONE, “The maritime industry is not top-of-mind for most people although it is very relevant to our daily lives since shipping transports almost everything we use and consume. We need to change that, and through the efforts of MaritimeONE over the years, we have made headway in raising the awareness of our young people through various initiatives, including career fairs, school talks and events like the Singapore Maritime Dialogue.”
Mr Liu Xuanyi, student moderator at the Singapore Maritime Dialogue, and MaritimeONE scholar pursuing a double degree programme in Law & Business Management at the Singapore Management University, had this to say about his choice of a career in maritime: “I am drawn to the maritime industry’s dynamism and diverse workforce, which offers me the chance to meet and learn from professionals from all over the world. After I graduate, one of my plans is to practice as a ship finance lawyer because it combines my love for law with my keen interest in the maritime industry. This would not just be a job for me. It would be a career that I look forward to, and I believe that my work will play a part in the growth of Singapore’s maritime industry.”
Shipping moves 90 per cent of world trade so it plays an important role in the global economy. Closer to home, the Singapore maritime industry is a key pillar of our nation’s economy, contributing some seven per cent to our Gross Domestic Product. There are more than 5,000 maritime establishments employing more than 170,000 personnel. Hence, students have a wide variety of choices in maritime education, scholarship and career opportunities.