Building confidence in the future of Norway’s maritime cluster despite current challenges in many sectors is one of the key topics at Nor-Shipping, the bi-annual event that opened in Oslo on 1 June.
About 35,000 delegates from 70 countries are expected to attend more than 100 events during the week-long event that celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015, said Sturla Henriksen, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.
“Norway has been a leading maritime nation for generations and I am confident that it will remain one in the future,” he said in his speech at a reception at the Oslo City Hall.
Ocean Talent Camp, housed in tents outside the City Hall, is hoping to attract about 10,000 young people in the 13 to 19 age group and to present the possibilities the shipping industry offers to them, said Vidar Pederstad, director of Nor-Shipping.
“Presenting the possibilities the shipping sector can offer to young people is always important, but it is more than usually so now as jobs are cut,” he said.
Sharp fall in the price of oil has forced several Norwegian and Norwegian-controlled offshore services companies to reduce their head count to adapt to a reduction in activities in the oil and gas exploration plus production sector.
However, it is important to look beyond the current weak cycle and to ensure that the maritime and shipping sectors remain as interesting career options to young people, he pointed out.
Fabian Strang, mayor of Oslo, also welcomed the industry’s efforts to approach young people and underlined the importance of maritime students to the sector’s future.