Energy ministry will prioritise training in maritime sector

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young. Photo by Angelo Marcelle
Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young says he intends to prioritise funds for training in the maritime sector.

He was speaking during the Maritime Link-Up webinar hosted by the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) in association with the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF) and the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA) on Wednesday.

Young said training of recruits in the maritime sector will be facilitated by the energy sector companies as part of their contractual obligations.

He spoke of the importance of developing the sector and its benefits to the overall economy of the country.

From a wider Caribbean perspective, the astute management of marine environment provides not only an opportunity for economic growth, but alignment with the global move to green and carbon neutral economies.

“As small island states, relative to a land mass, we have vast ocean resources at our disposal presenting a huge opportunity for economic growth and a responsibility to sustainably manage, protect and preserve our ocean for the present and for the future generations.

“We must continue to pursue an integrated approach to building our blue economy.”

Moderator Vivian Rambarath-Parasram added that the energy sector provides approximately 80 per cent of training opportunities for maritime cadet officers.

At the event, attended by over 100 UTT students, senior vice president at Technology and Operational Excellence (TOTE Inc) Alyse Lisk spoke about the importance of cyber security in the maritime industry.

She said the sector is a target for cyber attacks as there are billions of dollars moving throughout the oceans globally, with thousands of companies on ships, making maritime a vast target.

She said security breaches are rising, having increased by 67 per cent in the last five years. “Two to three small and mid-sized organisations go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.

Lisk gave the example of the Russian wiper virus which devastated container shipping company Maersk in June 2017.

She said the malware was downloaded and within seven minutes it was propagated within the company’s entire global network. The attack, she said, affected the global economy and cost the company $300 million.

Lisk said the company learned from the attack to always be prepared, plan and have a data recovery strategy.

Students who attended the webinar received an exclusive opportunity to apply for a scholarship provided by ACMF.

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