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Maritime

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Maritime sector, which is a component of the Transport industry.

The Maritime sector operates in a globalised shipping network as well as across local markets including fishing and aquaculture, tourism, and patrol and rescue operations. The sector has an estimated annual revenue of $5.76 billion and added approximately $2.58 billion to the Australian economy in 2017. Ten per cent of the world’s sea trade passes through Australian ports and over 95% of Australian exports are transported by sea. Australia’s coastline is over 60,000 kilometres in length and our search and rescue region covers more than 10% of the Earth’s surface. Per capita, Australia has more cruise passengers than any other nation, making it the fourth-largest cruise market in the world.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the Maritime sector in job roles such as:

  • General Purpose Hands
  • Coxswains
  • Marine Engine Drivers
  • Marine Engineers
  • Marine Surveyors
  • Cooks
  • Integrated Ratings
  • Deck Officers
  • Ships Masters
  • Marina Operations.

Nationally recognised training for the Maritime sector is delivered under the MAR Maritime Training Package.

For information on the Rail, Aviation, and Transport and Logistics sectors please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Maritime IRC Skills Forecast 2018.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level in the Water Transport industry fluctuated significantly between the years 2000 and 2017, declining overall during this period; however, it is projected to increase slightly over the next few years until 2022.

Marine Transport Professionals make up over 16% of the Water Transport industry workforce; however, the employment level for this occupation is projected to decline between 2017 and 2022.  Deck and Fishing hands make up around a further 12% of the workforce and the employment level for this occupation is projected to increase over the next five years.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2017, there were approximately 6,630 program enrolments in the Maritime Training Package and about 3,750 completions. Both program enrolments and completions decreased between 2014 and 2016, however rose slightly in 2017. There were 2,775 subject-only (no qualification) enrolments in 2017. Program enrolments were mainly at lower certificate level, with 38% at certificate II level, 26% at certificate III level and 22% at certificate I level. The majority of program enrolments during 2017 were in near-coastal qualifications (90%) with Ship’s Master the main intended occupation for training (66% of enrolments), followed by Deck Hand (16%) and Ship’s Engineer (15%).

For enrolments during 2017, the type of training provider varied between the different qualifications. For example, 87% of blue-water qualifications were provided by TAFE with the remainder delivered by universities. However, for near-coastal qualifications the proportion of qualifications provided by TAFE was around 47% with private training providers delivering approximately 45%. A high proportion of the subjects delivered by TAFE and universities were government-funded, however, for private training providers this was around 40% with the rest funded via domestic fee for service.

In 2017, New South Wales had the largest proportion of students enrolled in this sector at 32%, followed by Queensland with 24% and 15% were from Western Australia.

During 2017, there were 70 apprentice and trainee commencements and 22 completions in the Maritime Training Package. Commencements and completions decreased by around a half between 2013 and 2016 although commencements rose in 2017, when compared to 2016. The intended occupations for apprentices and trainees were Ship’s Master or Deck Hand. As at December 2017, over 40% of apprentice training was reported in Queensland, 30% in New South Wales and 15% in Western Australia.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Maritime IRC Skills Forecast 2018 identifies the top priority skills for the Maritime workforce in the next three to five years as:

  • health and safety
  • operational skills
  • compliance
  • automation.

The top five generic skills in order of importance are listed as:

  • managerial/leadership
  • design mindset/thinking critically/system thinking/solving problems
  • technology
  • learning agility/information literacy/intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • environmental sustainability.

The top priority industry and occupation skills include navigation and vessel handling.

The above Skills Forecast reports several opportunities and challenges for the Maritime industry sector. New skills will be required due to the development of new technologies and innovations, increasing complexity of communication systems, autonomous vessels and technology-based operational systems. The provision of specialist skills in robotics, design, engineering and Big Data analytics will require appropriate training. Australia's Maritime workforce is one of the oldest in the country. The ageing workforce and the increasing need for digital literacy means attracting, training and retaining young workers is critical to meet the skills needs of the sector. Provision of mentorship and leadership training to skilled operators will enable them to develop younger employees and assist with retention. The currency of vocational education and training standards will need to be maintained to ensure training meets the skills needs within industry, particularly in regard to the changing regulatory framework and increased environmental and efficiency pressures.

Furthermore, the Skills Forecast states over 75% of employers in the Maritime sector reported experiencing a skills shortage during the last 12 months. The job roles reported as being in shortage were primarily for domestic commercial vessel occupations, being:

  • Marine Engine Drivers
  • Small vessel (<35m) Masters
  • Deckhands
  • Managers
  • Educators, Trainers and Assessors.

Reasons employers indicated for the shortage in order of frequency were:

  • cost/time to achieve the required qualification
  • ageing workforce/current staff retiring
  • geographic location of the vacancy
  • competition from other organisations/industries
  • wages/salaries considered too low.

Additionally, a strong demand for Electro-Technical Officers within the industry is increasing. Development of a qualification within the MAR Maritime Training Package that provides Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) certification for this role is currently underway.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 2 digit Water Transport Industry, employment projections to May 2022
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2022
    • Marine Transport Professionals
    • Deck and Fishing Hands.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 digit Water Transport Industry, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit Water Transport Industry, and 4 digit level VET related occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • Maritime Training Package (MAR, TDM)
  • Blue-Water
    • MAR30113 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating)
    • MAR30116 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating)
    • MAR30415 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Marine Cookery)
    • MAR50115 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Engineer Watchkeeper)
    • MAR50313 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck)
    • MAR50315 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck)
    • MAR50413 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Master up to 500 GT or Master 80 metres)
    • MAR50415 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Master up to 500 GT)
    • MAR60115 - Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Engineering Class 2)
    • MAR60213 - Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Master Unlimited)
    • MAR60215 - Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Engineering Class 1)
    • MAR60315 - Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Master Unlimited)
    • TDM30307 - Certificate III in Transport & Distribution (Maritime Operations - Integrated Rating)
  • Maritime Services
    • MAR10213 - Certificate I in Maritime Operations (Linesperson)
    • MAR20116 - Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Linesperson)
    • MAR30315 - Certificate III in Marina Operations
    • MAR50215 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Surveying)
  • Near-Coastal
    • MAR10313 - Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand Near Coastal)
    • MAR10413 - Certificate I in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 2 Near Coastal)
    • MAR20313 - Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal)
    • MAR20413 - Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Near Coastal)
    • MAR30813 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal)
    • MAR30913 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres Near Coastal)
    • MAR31013 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master Inland Waters)
    • MAR40513 - Certificate IV in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 Near Coastal)
    • MAR40613 - Certificate IV in Maritime Operations (Master up to 35 metres Near Coastal)
    • MAR50613 - Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Engineering Class 3 Near Coastal)
    • TDM20107 - Certificate II in Transport Distribution (Maritime Operations)
    • TDM20307 - Certificate II in Transport & Distribution (Coastal Maritime Operations - Coxswain)
    • TDM30107 - Certificate III in Transport Distribution (Maritime Operations).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET Students and Courses: Terms and Definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Maritime Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Maritime Industry Reference Committee’s Skills Forecast 2018.

Updated: 26 Oct 2018
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