Ali Zaidi assures to resolve unemployment issues of Pakistani Seafarers

By asir Mahmood

The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Ali Zaidi has assured Pakistani Seafarers for resolution of their unemployment issues as soon as possible. For this purpose an advisory committee shall be formed consisting of voluntary seamen of higher ranks that shall assist the ministry to engage multinational companies for hiring Pakistani Seafarers. He also stated that a follow-up meeting would be held in every 3 months.

He was addressing to a special meeting followed by a protest through social media campaign by Pakistani Seafarers. The Minister had called upon a delegation to come forward and present the problems they were facing and possible solutions that could be worked on. The meeting was held on Friday 2nd August 2019 at PNSC Building. Chairman PNSC, Director General Ports & Shipping also attended the meeting.

Ali Zaidi carefully considered all the issues discussed by delegation and noted down the suggestions of possible solutions that could be worked upon. He addressed some of the steps that he had been working on since he took oath of his ministry last year. Earlier, Chairman PNSC, in his welcome speech stated the steps that ministry had been working to address the seafarer’s problems.

The Seafarers’ delegation was led by senior Captains along with 120 seafarers of all age and ranks. Most of them were fresh cadets of Pakistan Marine Academy who had been facing serious unemployment problems. The delegation representing the seafarers highlighted the main reason for the social media campaign which was the “Unemployment of Pakistani Seafarers”.

They pointed out that the Minister had been working on such steps that were of not much significance and could be addressed with time. The real issue to be worked out was employment opportunities to be created for the young cadets who had to wait a minimum of 4 to 5 years for their sailing period to start. They offered possible solutions that could be utilized to address the job crisis of these cadets. One of the representatives of the delegation pointed out the suggestions that the ministry should take into consideration to address the seafarer’s unemployment issue.

He urged that the ministry should work for exposure of Pakistani Seafarers by engaging Multinational Shipping Companies on diplomatic terms. This will be fruitful to create job opportunities for Pakistani Seafarers. He suggested that steps should be taken to compel the charterers of the vessels chartered by Pakistan to recruit Pakistani Crew, especially fresh cadets through adding the clause in Charter Agreement.

They pointed out that PNSC can also accommodate more freshers with regard to complete their sea training onboard its own vessels. This would help create more job opportunities and shall reduce the junk of unemployment by speeding up the rotation of fresh cadets.

They also put into consideration of Minister, the crucial issue of visa issuance which is the main hindrance for job employment in Multinational Shipping Companies. They highlighted that if solely this issue is addressed more Pakistani Seafarers would be considered for job induction in Foreign Companies.

While commenting on the session one of the seniors on the condition of anonymity disclosed that it was continued for about 2 hours. Both parties thoroughly discussed the matter. Pakistani Seafarers’ look forward for positive outcomes to be reached and hope for practical implementation of what they have discussed with ministry which is necessary to be considered for the growth of Maritime Industry, he added.

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