The recent Marine Industry Careers Forum, organized by the BIA NSW and held during the Sydney International Boat Show, was a positive and proactive advance towards enthusing and directing young people to careers in all areas of the boating industry. And by every measure, the inaugural event was a success.
Corrina McMillan, Education & Training Coordinator at the Boating Industry Association of NSW says the aims of the event were 'to provide students and teachers with information about the wide range of careers available in the recreational boating industry, and give them the opportunity to meet and question industry members and service providers about how to get started, the different types of jobs on offer, training options available, and apprenticeships and cadetships'.
She says feedback from the students, their careers advisers and teachers, and the industry representatives in attendance, the day 'definitely achieved what we set out to do'.
285 students attended with 28 teachers/careers advisors. 'The kids and teachers were from a number of schools across NSW where some kind of marine related studies take place,' says Corrina. 'We had schools from as far away as Narooma, Lake Macquarie, Tuggerah Lakes, Nowra and Lake Illawarra, to name a few.'
Experts from BIA and TAFE NSW, as well as representatives from the secondary schools Marine Teachers Association attended this year’s Sydney International Boat Show, exhibiting and speaking at the Boating Industry Careers Day organised by BIA NSW.
Other industry proponents who took to the stage to inspire and illuminate the students and their careers advisers were: Corrina McMillan, Stephen Milne, Riviera Boats, Sarah Hardy, TAFE NSW, Ken Evans, Dave Jeffries from Captain Cook Cruises, Chris Brown from Superyacht Crew Academy, Nick Wennerbom from Australian Business Limited Apprenticeships Centre and Jeni Bone, journalist and editor of MarineBusiness-World.com.
After the event, students were invited to approach the various speakers and gather more information on the different options. There was a flood of interest for working on superyachts, thanks in part to the glorious images, exotic yachts and locations and thumping soundtrack that animated everybody in the room!
'I've had some really positive feedback saying that it gave their students a great insight into the industry and provided them with an excellent range of careers, many of which the students had not thought of,' says Corrina. 'Plus, we had a great variety in speakers and plenty of useful information for the students to take away with them.'
The event was certainly well received and Corrina asserts it will be on her 'to do list for next year'.
'I think it went beautifully, I couldn't have asked for better. We had some fantastic speakers who kept the kids interested and entertained, plenty of really useful information that everyone could take away with them, it moved along at a great pace, and the kids were pretty well behaved too!
'It was brilliant to see so many young faces in the room - they are the talent of tomorrow, and it was encouraging to see that so many had come along to find out what the industry has to offer.'