The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Sharjah participates in “UAE Youth Engagement for Better Tomorrow”
Students from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Sharjah (AASTS) recentlytook part in a webinar organized by the Federal Transport Authority for Land andMaritime as part of UN International Youth Day celebrations. Participation inthis initiative is part of AASTS’ continuous efforts to adopt new methods thatconnect students with the maritime sector, which is one of key sectors thatsupport global economy and trade.
The webinar covered a wide range of topics tailored for the UAE’s next generation of mariners. The UAE’srole in training only high-caliber candidates to build the nation’s maritimecapabilities was viewed as paramount. The range of state-of-the-art educationalfacilities was seen to be an important factor in attracting high-class talent.Bearing in mind the rapidly growing maritime, oil,gas, energy and offshore sectors it was recognized that it was necessary toattract more young people to the industry.
Yousif Yacoub Al Mansouri, Director, Office ofthe Chairman for the Board of Trustees, AASTS, said: “Acknowledging the importance ofhigh-caliber students, AASTS strives to provide world-class facilities andeducation for our students and as such we are proud to be the first choice fora maritime education in the UAE. The webinar demonstrated our students’ knowledgeof the industry, especially in regard to commitment and social responsibility.It also encouraged innovative thinking, which is an essential skill to have inthe maritime industry.”
Empowering innovative thinking
H.E Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Executive Director of Maritime Transport at theFederal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime (FTA): “Maritime sector is one of the key pillars ofour economy and to ensure we maintain the UAE’s global high ranking in theindustry we have to focus on nurturing the mariners of the future. This kind of activity is necessary to stimulateyoung minds and promotes original thinking. We aim to help studentsexplore future opportunities from a professional point of view, open upprospects for them to explore the possibilities of career development in themaritime sector, and encourage them to prepare for job requirements, bothscientifically and academically”
Beyond academic study
Dr. Aysha Al Busmait, IMO Goodwill Ambassador andCorporate Communications Director,at the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime (FTA) said: “We realize that theeducational process is not limited to textbooks and academic curricula. Theidea of launching the “Youth Webinar” was to broaden horizons for our futuregeneration and properly employ their capabilities. Thus, we added value forstudents by motivating them to be more creative and think outside the box whilethey continue their academic studies.”
The webinar also touched on controversial topicsincluding gender discrimination in the industry. More women are now taking upleadership positions such as sea captains and ship masters and it was agreedthis was a first positive step. Al Busmait added, “Promoting the equality of women in the sector,especially Emirati women, and raising their profile is close to my heart. Empoweringthem is essential, particularly as the sector is the largest economy after oiland impacts the nation’s sustainable development. Debates such as these bring this issue to thefore.”
Dr. Ahmed Youssef, Associate Deanof the Maritime Transport Technology College, AASTS said: “The maritime sector needs a lot of support frommaritime academic institutions to supply the market with qualified youngEmirati men and women. When ourgraduates go on to work on offshore ships or commercial vessels, they areequipped with a range of skills to enable them to demonstrate a high level ofcompetency in their field. Testimonials from our alumni show that ourspecializations and extra curriculum activities give them a high level ofcompetency and the ability to think outside the box.”
International Youth Day is celebrated every year on August 12 andthis year’s theme was Youth Engagement for Global Action. 2020 marks the 75thanniversary of the UN and the body is calling for it to be the year ofdialogue, as the world is facing such challenging times.