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Ocean Sciences

19/06/2018

This article appeared in The Herald on 9 June 2018 written by Odette Parfitt parfitto@tisoblackstar.co.za

Institute’s operations head aims to grow opportunities in sector...

SHE has been at the helm of operations at the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) for just over two months, but Soraya Artman is already steering the organisation to becoming an engine for maritime job creation.

Artman, 53, of Port Elizabeth, who was appointed as the institute’s operations director in April, said one of her first priorities was to raise awareness of the career possibilities within the maritime sector.

This would require the creation of the skills and education needed for the industry, Artman said.

“My vision is for SAIMI to successfully coordinate the skills development, education and research objectives according to its mandate, which would result in gainful employment opportunities within the maritime industry,” she said.

“One of SAIMI’s overarching aims is to be a national institute which is recognised nationally and internationally.

“To achieve this, we need to partner with all universities, colleges and private training providers who have an interest in maritime affairs.

“We also need to grow and enhance SAIMI’s education and training portfolio and services to the maritime industry.”

Before joining SAIMI, Artman worked as the senior manager of finance for the Nelson Mandela University Business School for more than five years – a role which she believes prepared her for her duties at the maritime institute.

“My qualifications and experience have prepared me for almost all areas of expertise required, [but] the difference is that the maritime sector is so wide and so diverse, and has many facets to it – such as marine transport and manufacturing, aquaculture, small harbours and coastline development and coastal and marine tourism.”

Artman said her role would be to implement and improve processes to ensure efficient operations within SAIMI.

“The goal is to ensure that SAIMI remains both visible and accessible. We will be reaching out to all stakeholders with whom SAIMI could have mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships.

“I am very excited by the prospects at SAIMI. The maritime sector is very broad and extremely interesting.”

Of her role as a woman in a top-level leadership position, Artman said SAIMI had already employed several talented women who occupied critical roles and had achieved a lot in the three years of the organisation’s existence.

“I am happy to be joining this dynamic team,” she said.

“The opportunities for women in the maritime industry are endless. Certainly, more women in leadership roles in the industry will bring a different dynamic to the sector.”

SAIMI chief executive Professor Malek Pourzanjani said: “Soraya’s appointment is one of several key appointments made by SAIMI to expand its management capacity and further strengthen its ability to meet the needs of the maritime sector.”