70,000 Jobs At Sea: Big Industry Waiting For Investment

Perhaps the most under-appreciated and underestimated resource in Jamaica is the sea. That of course is a pretty ironic thing considering the fact that Jamaica is an island – completely surrounded by the Caribbean Sea.

If the numbers being tossed about are correct, it would seem that the marine industry could employ almost half the 151,900 unemployed Jamaicans.

70,000 Jobs at Sea?

Shortage of 70,000 seafarers

Just two months ago Ruel Reid, Principal of Jamaica College stated that “there is a shortage of 70,000 seafarers,” as he explained why Jamaica College was forging a new partnership with the Caribbean Maritime Institute. Reid was speaking at the the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Jamaica College (JC) and the Caribbean Maritime Institute to exploit a wide range of opportunities in the nautical industry, a sector currently embarking on a recruitment drive.

Reid did not cite his source, a fact we truly regret as it would help us to verify the number. 70,000 jobs is no small figure in times like these.

A Major Area for Investment Locally

I had noticed while studying in Barbados that there was always some party cruise or water related activity available and within reasonable reach of the average person.  Additionally, having lived and worked around the beach on the north coast of Jamaica I can say with some confidence that tourists are the people who enjoy the beaches and ocean the most.

The fact is, whenever the average Jamaican goes to the beach they rarely ever plan to take advantage of any water sport options. The issue is certainly not a lack of interest. Who wouldn’t want to go jet skiing? The issue, invariability is cost, and security. No one wants to pay an arm and a leg for a 15 minute ride on an unlicensed, uninsured, and assumedly unsafe vessel.

A major area for local development is water sports. Jet skis, speed boats, party boats, cross country pleasure cruises (Kingston – Montego Bay), scuba diving, snorkelling and much more.

A Snapshot of Some Careers At Sea

If you are interested, an incredibly informative resource in finding a list of possible careers at sea is CareersAtSea.BusinessCatalyst.com. Some careers listed there include:

Shore Based Roles

General Purpose Hand 

Have you thought about investing in this area? Do you see any exciting opportunities in this sector?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Andrew Wildes (@AndrewWildes), a law student, journalist and aspiring author. Read more about Andrew at MaximizeMyLife.

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