There I was, at a Careers Evening at a prestigious High School in Johannesburg representing a prestigious institution that offers an internationally recognised education programme covering Shipping, Logistics, Transport Economics among others..
Along comes Polly* (*not her real name) a bright eyed and bushy tailed aspiring Matriculant..
I go “Hello there, can I interest you in a Shipping & Logistics course“.. She goes “Logistics, what’s that ?“..
For almost the first time in my life I didn’t have a comeback..!!! I was gobsmacked..
It made me cringe to see and realise how relatively unknown our industry still remains in the eyes of the general public who have no idea what happens behind the scenes or what we do in order to cart cargo around from Point A to Point B..
It also made me realise how poor the visibility of this industry is in the public domain especially at school levels..
Teenagers being who they are and knowing everything it was a pity to see many don’t even really know about our industry or maybe “care” is the word I am looking for..
I noticed most of the kids making a beeline straight to the “known” Universities to find out more about the “known” and “expected” professional qualifications such as Engineering, Medicine etc, and to Colleges offering Diplomas in Marketing, Advertising, Fashion etc.. “Known” and “expected” being the keywords here..
Technology also seems to play a part in it because to a teenager “Shipping” is a short form for “Relationship”..
I kid you not.. You can read it for yourself in an article in Tech Insider “What Shipping means to Teens“..
According to this article
If you see someone on Twitter or Tumblr discussing “shipping,” don’t assume they’re talking about mailing a package. The term has taken on new life thanks to people, predominantly teens, using the word to discuss ideal relationships between fictional characters, celebrities, and even their own friends.
Shipping originated in the world of fandoms, which are groups of hardcore fans of movies, books, and television shows. According to the ridiculousy comprehensive fandom slang guides of the internet, the word derives from “relationshipper,” typically shortened to just “shipper.” Relationshippers are people who care deeply about the romantic relationships between their favorite characters — and sometimes, celebrities or even the people in their own lives.
According to Urban Dictionary, below is the definition of Shipping
So my question today to all those involved in this wonderful industry of shipping, freight, logistics and maritime is
- How do we get teenagers and school kids involved in our industry and increase the exposure and also show them that there is a career lane that involves Shipping, Freight, Logistics, Maritime and associated industries..
- How do we create the interest from the school level itself..
- Do you think it would be possible to incorporate the above into school curriculum’s like they do Accounting, Marketing etc as an orientation program..