Bharath to help 4,000 local seamen find jobs
The Ministry of Trade is planning to formalise the maritime sector to help find international jobs for more than 4,000 unemployed local seamen.
Minister of Trade Vasant Bharath, while speaking at a leadership seminar at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday, indicated he had taken to Cabinet the idea of developing the maritime sector.
He said he later had a conversation with president general of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) Michael Annisette.
"And he happened to mention that he has about 4,000 able-bodied seamen looking for work in Trinidad and Tobago. And I thought, as much the same way that we market the services of our energy sector to the world, why could we not market the expertise of the able-bodied seamen?
Why do we not develop that as a genuine sector which we already have?" Bharath asked.
He said the maritime sector was very informal and local seamen only got work when the union could arrange it.
"What I want to do is formalise and legitimise that sector as part of our maritime industry so we can sell those services to the world in the same way we sell our energy expertise," he said.
Bharath added that the ministry planned to meet with the SWWTU to see what skill sets would be needed to position the seamen so they could get work for an entire year instead of one or two months.