A successful educational programme in Simon's Town that equips young people with maritime skills has been shortlisted for an international award.
The Lawhill Maritime Centre's maritime studies programme was shortlisted for the Seatrade Investment in People Award.
Brian Ingpen, the head of the Lawhill maritime studies programme, said the shortlisting of their organisation is recognition of a special achievement for the hundreds of students who have passed through the programme since it was founded 17 years ago.
"At Lawhill we are helping to address the shortage in the maritime industry by creating opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to pursue a career in a growing and important industry," he said.
He said that by supporting education by giving youth skills and opportunities they need in life is a priority in South Africa.
The Lawhill programme won a Lloyds List Salute to Youth and Training Award in 1999.
During the three-year programme teenagers between 15 and 17 years old are taught aspects of shipping, voyage calculation, nautical science, maritime geography, ship construction and seamanship.
Grant Daly, CEO of Safmarine, which sponsors the organisation, said the success of the Lawhill programme "is another example of Safmarine's sustainable partnership approach, an approach we don't only apply to our business and our relationships with customers but also to our dealings with local communities around the world.
"As such, we are delighted that this programme, which has helped so many young South Africans find meaningful and productive employment, has once again received international recognition."
The Lawhill maritime studies programme has improved the employment prospects of hundreds of young South Africans leaving school each year.
Ingpen said that South Africa has a lot of school leavers "and we have to prepare young people for employment as well as becoming entrepreneurs".
The winners of the 2012 Seatrade Investment in People Award will be announced at a gala function in London on May 14.