The Republic of Panama, through the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), was the winner of the CAREER4SEA Virtual awards, in the category of best "Initiative" for the execution of the "My First Maritime Labor Experience" program, a pilot project that started this year and that according to the judges, provides that valuable work experience which recent graduates need to chart their own path, while contributing to the finances of their families.

It was the responsibility of the Director of the General Directorate of Seafarers (DGGM) of the AMP, Captain Juan Maltez to receive the award virtually, on behalf of the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Arch. Noriel Araúz, during the opening ceremony of the Virtual Forum CAREER4SEA, organized by the renowned company SAFETY4SEA, in Greece.

The methodology used for choosing the winner is based on a combination of online nomination and the intervention process of the editorial team, headed by the Managing Editor, Apostolos Belokas, who perform a thorough evaluation and review among all candidates worldwide , looking for the most appropriate one that matches the spirit and aptitude of the award, in the case of the "Initiative" award, this is awarded to the organization or association that generated, initiated, implemented or promoted the best idea to attract new talents to the shipping industry.

It is a great pleasure and honor for the AMP to receive this award for the pilot plan My First Maritime Labor Experience, which accomplished that twenty (20) young professionals obtained a positive, well-oriented work experience that motivated them and made them passionate about the sector maritime, where they were able to apply the knowledge learned in their university training, which will be a determining factor for them to achieve a successful career in the maritime sector, considering that in Panama the maritime, logistics and port cluster generates more than 32% of its Gross Domestic Product, ”said Director Maltez.

This initiative is inspired by Law 121 of December 30, 2019, "Learning by Doing" proposed by the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen through the Ministry of Work and Labor Development (MITRADEL), being the AMP the first entity in successfully adopting and adapting it to the maritime field. It also complies with numbers 4, 5 and 8 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations.

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The first recruitment was carried out in the month of January 2020, through the Panamanian Association of Naval Officers (APOM) and the Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) who provided the profiles. It was composed of eight (8) ladies and twelve (12) gentlemen, all professionals from the maritime sector, from Nautical Sciences, Shipbuilding, Maritime Administration careers, among others, who during six (6) paid months, went through a period of training and later exercised functions. This entire process was supervised and guided by specialized personnel from our institution.

At the end of their 6 months, ten (10) profesional extended their work in the AMP, until December 31, 2021, we also made approaches with companies in the sector and with the Panama Maritime Chamber (CMP) to be able to insert the other ten (10) professionals in the labor market, in order to boost their professional careers but above all, positively impact their lives and that of their families.

In the working area, in addition to this pilot program, we have updated a database with the seafarers who want to work and in turn, we are knocking on the doors of different companies both in Panama and abroad that need qualified labor, which count with all their documents in order and are ready to be embarked.

“We thank the SAFETY4SEA company for promoting excellence, through the CAREER4SEA Virtual awards, while praising the best practices carried out in the global maritime sector. We invite the other Maritime Administrations to join our initiative and support this new generation of professionals who will be the generational relays of the global maritime sector, in charge of building and transforming the world ”, concluded Director Maltez.

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This is the third consecutive year that the awards have been held, with the Educational Award being presented to MOL Magsaysay Maritime Academy and the Ship Operator Award granted to Arcadia Shipmanagement. Panama Maritime Authority was presented with the Initiative Award, whereas the New Generation- Men Award was awarded to Mr. Theofilos K. Xenakoudis, the New Generation - Women Award for Mrs. Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, and the 2020 CAREER4SEA Personality Award was presented to Mr. Carlos C. Salinas.

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