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A Targeted National Maritime Training Strategy

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: This article argues that there is no market failure in the Australian maritime skills and training arena. Rather, as a result of a long period of policy neglect, there are complex and long-seated structural issues, a set of economic variables that require some thoughtful responses from the Australian Government, and there are some industrial relations agendas running that complicate the situation whenever skills are mentioned. These add up to issues that would be better described as "market blockages " and as such are ones that can be sorted out by industry-given the right policy signals from government. Either the key stakeholders will find some common ground to collaborate on employment, skills and training issues; or the global marketplace will sort the problem out for them in a decade through the encroachment of international shipping lines, overseas crews and a decline in local training capacity below critical mass. It will certainly be possible to "revitalise " coastal shipping in Australia past this point, but not with Australian owned and crewed vessels. The choice belongs in the first instance to the industry stakeholders, the employers and unions, not the Australian government.

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