Australian mining company South32’s head of shipping, Su Yin Anand, gave some poignant advice as she took her final bow on Singapore’s shipping conference circuit before moving into the aluminium sector.

Participating on a dry bulk panel at the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum in Singapore on Thursday in which industry leaders discussed the impacts of geopolitical, regulatory and economic risks, and decarbonisation, Anand said shipping needs to invest more in its people.

“I think the biggest challenge for this industry is what can we do in order to upskill our current workforce, and what can we do in order to attract and retain talent to the industry,” she said.

“Ultimately, you have all these risks, and you need people to actually think through what these risks mean for your business. You need people to run a business.”

Anand described shipping as unique, with former seafarers making up a large percentage of its workforce.

“It’s great, I think, that shipping takes care of its own people, and people in shipping are really passionate. But if you think about the challenges that this industry faces and the opportunities that lie within it for the workforce, what are we doing to prepare seafarers for a career ashore?” she asked.

“Ultimately, I think it’s about people, and I don’t see the industry doing enough in the people space, in the talent space, to upskill and train.”

Anand has been head of shipping at South32 for more than two years. Aside from managing the chartering and freight operations, she has been involved in developing a sustainability strategy for the freight desk.

She will be moving across to the miner’s aluminium business for what she has described as “new opportunities and challenges”.

She is also co-founder of The Captain’s Table, a platform developed to power the future of maritime through connecting innovators in the start-up space.

In 2022, she was named co-chair of the All Aboard Alliance, a platform for collaboration to attract new talent to the industry by making it “more diverse, equitable and inclusive”.

The platform’s membership comprises 27 companies from across maritime value chains. Her co-chair is Mikael Skov, chief executive of tanker owner Hafnia.

Before this, Anand was a partner at law firm Ince, where she spent 14 years in private practice in Singapore and Hong Kong.