ICON Offshore Berhad (“ICON”) continued to play its role as a responsible corporate citizen based on a triple bottom line philosophy of serving people, planet and profit. We are of the view that the continued success of ICON is best assured if we adopt a comprehensive perspective beyond the single-minded pursuit of revenue and profits.
By emphasising economic, social and environmental parameters, we are equipped with the vision and blueprint to build a better business model, an inspired organisational culture and to create a dynamic company that is also a desired place to work. Hence, our efforts go beyond mere altruism but to truly deliver value to all stakeholders while safeguarding the long-term future and prospects of the Group.
ICON constantly focuses on the essential requirement of further developing a sustainable talent pool for the Group. Talent remains a key concern or challenge for any maritime player. As processes, systems and technology become increasingly streamlined and accessible to all companies; talent is arguably growing in importance as a vital differentiator for any organisation.
While the present industry downturn may give the misconception that talent development can be slowed down or even halted, this would not be a strategic move in the long run. Talent must constantly be nurtured based on a long-term perspective, both in quality and quantity. Key focus areas included competency development and intervention overall talent pool development for both onshore and offshore staff.
Over the years, ICON has established strong ties with Akademi Laut Malaysia“(ALAM”), Politeknik Ungku Omar’s (“PUO”) Marine Engineering Department and various maritime institutions, locally and internationally.
While collaboration with ALAM and other organisations enhances the quality of the talent pool, there is a need to focus on the quantity; that is to create greater awareness and interest among Malaysians on pursuing a maritime career. Malaysia has had a long-standing and respected tradition as a sea-faring nation that stretches back for centuries. From the days of the Malacca Sultanate and even before, the country has been the cradle of a maritime culture that linked the East and the West. The story of the sea and Malaysia’s own unique narrative are inseparable to say the least. It is only right that Malaysia, now in the 21st century continues to sustain its proud sea-faring tradition. However, in today’s modern, world, building Malaysia’s next generation of able seafarers; in terms of both quality and quantity remains a challenge.
Unlike more popular career choices such as medicine, engineering or aviation, a maritime profession does not appear high on the list of most young people due to lack of industry branding and exposure; and several misconceptions that jobs in this industry do not offer promising career pathways or are low-paying and inherently dangerous. In addressing these issues, ICON undertook the bold step to go directly to the grassroots level – holding career talks at schools nationwide. ICON visited schools in the area operates namely in Kemaman, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur. These talks included audio visual aids for greater impact and question and answer sessions for students. Conducted by ICON’s own staff and ALAM’s representative, these talks were held for the benefit of the next generation on career prospects of working in the maritime industry.
The talk was certainly an eye-opener for the many secondary school level students, many of whom never even knew about a possible, exciting and rewarding career in the maritime industry. Certainly, the talks were worthwhile given the positive feedback and interest received from participants. If anything, these outreach efforts clearly illustrate that if awareness is provided, more youths would consider the possibility of a maritime career, more so those from lower to middle income families. This is of great significance as a maritime career is a viable option for many of these youths to escape their disadvantaged backgrounds and to enjoy the fruits of the nation’s socio-economic progress. With that, whole families and ultimately villages or communities get be uplifted.
Moving forward, the Career talk programmes as well as visits to ALAM will be continued to tap more young Malaysians across the country.
Despite the challenges faced during a downturn year, ICON continued to uphold its corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) obligations. We believe that Corporates have a role to play in the betterment of society using available financial and non-financial resources and means.
We are emboldened by the results of our CSR efforts and intend to continue driving our social outreach agenda moving forward. Certainly our capabilities to contribute will be influenced by overall market conditions and business performance, but regardless, we endeavor to continuing playing our role as a responsible corporate citizen and to bring a meaningful difference in the lives of as many as possible who have come to know and experience the ICON Offshore brand.