“We need new blood in the industry, we have to admit that young blood is needed,” Demetriades told a panel discussion on ‘Shipping: an industry of Passion, Knowledge and Experience’.
“These three words – passion, knowledge and experience – are keys to the success of the shipping industry, not only for the private sector but for the public sector as well,” he added.
The discussion was organised a week ago by Maravilhosa, a Limassol-based group specialised in business consultancy, where Demetriades said the government will make available maritime industry scholarships to support the sector.
“The sector now employs 40,000 people, but I strongly believe it can grow further and it can employ more people, young people, both onshore and offshore,” he said.
“The government will offer a number of scholarships for those interested in maritime industry courses…we will strongly encourage young ones to take up these courses,” he added.
Meanwhile, Demetriades disclosed on Tuesday that a study is now being drafted on restructuring the highly competitive sector to make it even stronger and more attractive.
“Necessary changes are required by the competent (government) departments so as to become more flexible in the way we operate,” he told the first ‘Shipping Industry Conference Gala’ in Limassol.
“Many countries come up with new ideas that follow a more flexible model and have assigned the promotion of the country’s flag to the private sector,” he added.
The Cyprus Shipping Registry ranks amongst leading registers internationally and has the third largest merchant fleet within the European Union.
Demetriades stressed Cyprus is not just a flag but an integrated maritime centre.
“Our integrated maritime cluster comprises ship owning, ship management and chartering companies,” he said.
“It also attracts companies involved in other shipping related activities, such as marine insurance, equipment suppliers, telecommunications, ship bunkering and the ports.”