The Oceana Group is committed to the Skills Development Act 9 of 1999. Divisonal skills development facilitators are registered with the relevant Sectoral Education and Training Authority (SETA).

In 2003 the South Africanisation training programme was implemented on the Desert Diamond. Key objectives were:

  • the creation of employment opportunities for local school leavers for junior and senior ranks
  • training to be career focused and to alleviate the shortage of qualified navigation and marine engineering officers in the maritime industry
  • stringent selection criteria, with an A in grade 12 mathematics or science pass or a minimum N4 technical qualification

Phase 1 of the skills transfer process commenced in August 2003 with the first intake of 25 unemployed school leavers, all from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Recruits were registered for the National Certificate in Maritime Operations (NQF Level 3) Learnership with the Maritime Chamber of the Transport SETA. Course subjects covered pre-sea familiarisation, first aid at sea, marine fire fighting, proficiency in survival craft, personal survival and social responsibility, ordinary seaman task book, steering certificate and able seaman certification STCW. On-the-job training included fish processing, fishmeal plant operations and technical maintenance on board the Desert Diamond.

Phase 11 commenced in April 2004. Sixteen unemployed school leavers from the Eastern Cape area were recruited. Thirteen entered the National Certificate in Maritime Operations (NQF level 3) Learnership.

In Phase III forty-four local crew members embarked on marine career-related training. Thirty-two learners entered fish-processing programmes, three entered navigational training and two entered marine engineering programmes as well as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) training.

In line with the NEPAD agreement, Oceana also took on eight Namibian cadets, who included two females, onboard the Desert Diamond.

Phase IV Desert Diamond Fishing is presently running professional training. Still aligned with the South African Skills Development Programme, Oceana has embarked on extended professional training in line with the Ministry of Labour’s strategic goals. Thirteen learners have been recruited for the different Learnerships – one female and two males with S4 Diplomas in electrical engineering, three males with S4/N6 in mechanical engineering, three males for motorman and two male and females deck trainees as part of the Phase Four Development. Furthermore, five existing crew members have also enrolled for the Certificate in Maritime Operations Learnership. The goal is that these crew members will qualify in the next 12 months and will boardDesert Diamond to understudy the Russian deck hands.

“I am proud to say that, due to Oceana’s commitment to our South Africanisation programme, the Department of Transport Achievers’ Award for Best Local Business Enterprise was awarded to Oceana at a gala event in Durban in October last year,” concluded Andries Bester.