Training numbers are at their highest level in our history.
In our 35-years of operations, the local seafood industry has never been busier. It’s easy to understand, therefore, that we’ve experienced record student numbers in the first part of 2022. Part of this is the interest from emerging sectors, both state-wide and from mainland organisations.
The first group of abalone traineeships recently completed
Land-based abalone farming is quite a new concept to many of us. The species is raised in a series of shallow raceways, in highly controlled conditions. As a highly regulated wild catch, abalone aquaculture helps to maintain sustainable wild stocks, whilst creating new growth opportunities for the sector and producing additional catch for consumers.
To address the unique needs of this sector, SMT has been working in close collaboration with local and interstate producers to develop a recognised training opportunity for their people.
This May, we celebrated the first group of students to complete a Traineeship in Abalone Husbandry.
The response from the abalone community has been very encouraging and without their involvement, we simply couldn’t have made this traineeship possible. We’re already looking forward to the next group of students, as the course continues to develop thanks to the feedback of previous graduates and their employers.
We’re here to support the wider seafood & maritime community.
As a not-for-profit, our primary objective is to support the demands of the seafood and maritime sector, and ensure the workforce is well prepared for changing demands and trends.
Although it sounds quite simple, it’s a complex mission that requires foresight and planning. And we’re always very grateful for the input of our board members, partners and the wider seafood industry.
Recently, upon welcoming the new Premier of Tasmania Jeremy Rockliff to his position, SMT and TSIC began advocating for the development of a new Seafood and Aquaculture Training Hub in Southern Tasmania.
Our joint proposal suggests that the State Government could help repurpose the now unused Aquaculture Trade Training Centre (ATTC) at the Huon Highschool.
The centre would become a new pathway for school students to explore a career in the seafood and maritime industry. With direct access to a group of exceptional industry partners and tourism opportunities, there are exciting possibilities for the centre.
At the time of publishing, we hope to be closing in on an appointment with the Premier to discuss the next steps and we encourage readers to champion this idea in future conversations within the community.
We’ve simply never been busier
Workforce and training demands have never been higher.
In all of our 35 years of operation, the first part of 2022 has been our busiest period on record and the largest number of students we’ve ever accommodated.
Juggling trainer absentees and student rescheduling due to the close contact rules of COVID-19, we must congratulate the SMT team for their ongoing resilience and positive performance during this time.
With Government Funding in the form of traineeship subsidies and the JobTrainer Campaign, fuelling the recent surge in numbers, SMT is continuing to record more students than any other seafood or maritime training body in Australia.
The link between planned funding and a stable schedule of training has been critical to our course planning for the year ahead. With possible changes to the federal government agenda likely following the 2022 election, we look forward to reviewing any new federal policy.
The first full training cycle has been completed on Navigator and it’s only set to become more productive.
Navigator continues to demonstrate its capability as a key training vessel for SMT. It has now completed its first full cycle of Master 24 Near Coastal and Marine Engine Driver training, helping students from all over Australia to level up their qualifications.
It will only become more pivotal in the coming months, with the new tender vessel set for ocean trials later in May; and commissioned as early as June.
Yet to be named, the 70 hp, 5m tender will be the smallest vessel in the SMT fleet and provide additional capacity for both on-water training, as well as training for vessel loading utilising the Navigator’s Hiab crane.
Sponsored by TSIC as a part of the Stay Afloat mental health initiative, we look forward to both announcing the name of the new tender and providing a full preview of the vessel later in the year.