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Youths diving into maritime careers

Twelve young adults from Hawston have taken the first step towards a career in the marine industry.

Rewaldo Beukes, Dylan Elliot, Sirvatio Fiver, Christopher Gelderblom, Muron Gillion, Noah Gillion, Chad Hendriks, Aiden May, Jaunwin Poole, Enzio Solomon, Antonio Solomon and Robynn Marais received special certificates and diving tickets to certify they had successfully completed the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) scuba diving course during a ceremony last week.

Mustakim Gierdien of the Department of Public Works said this training opportunity was funded by the department as part of an ongoing project to boost small-scale fishing and tourism by upgrading several harbours along the province’s coastline.

“Before the developments start in the various harbours we provide training opportunities in different fields,” he explained. “This ensures that once the development starts there are enough people with the necessary skills to perform the work. With further training, the men and women who completed the scuba course can also be employed on one of these projects.”

Aron de Gouveia of Scuba Africa and two qualified diving instructors equipped the students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to obtain their scuba diving tickets.

Patrick Kleinbooi, Deputy Managing Director and Training Centre Manager of the STC South Africa Maritime and Logistics Training Centre, says the training will serve as a step towards further training in the maritime industry.

“We will build on this by providing the Standard Training and Certificate of Watchkeepers course, which will enable them to be part of a shipping crew,” he stated.

“Once the students have completed the STCW course they can decide which area they would like to specialise in, such as maritime firefighting and maritime engineering.”

Craig Gillion, who coordinated the project, says it was the perfect opportunity to create awareness among the youth about alternative careers in the maritime industry.

He thanked Gateway Spar, FoodLover’s Market, Woolworths Station Square and The Global Challenge for their donations of food platters and wines.

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