BY SAMIE WAIKORI
THE Solomon Islands Maritme Safety Administration (SIMSA) is in dire need of qualified personnel, it is reported.
SIMSA, which is proposed to be upgraded into the wider-scoped Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA), needs a boost in its manpower – both in number and qualification.
Director of SIMSA, Tim Harris made the statement, saying according to ADB specialists the Phase 1 of SIMA should have a staff of 71 (compared to the current 28 technical personnel at SIMSA).
Adding that increasing the number will also increase the annual recurrent expenditure budget that is double the current level.
He explains SIMA will need more qualified personnel with better understanding of the maritime (shipping and port) industry.
Mr Harris said currently promotion in SIMSA is dependent on seafaring knowledge and level of qualifications of Certificates of Competency (CoCs).
“With funding from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, sponsors arranged through the International Maritime Organisation, the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government, since 2014 the Solomon Islands now has two graduates from the World Maritime University, one from IMLI and one from the AMC.
“Once SIMA is established, a Training Needs Assessment will be made for each member of staff (both former SIMSA and new recruits) and a training program developed for each person.”
This has been brought to the attention of Government and a Bill will soon be going to Parliament that will set SIMSA up as the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA).