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World Maritime Day

News|30 September 2021

This year’s theme for World Maritime Day focuses on the message "Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future". As we know, seafarers are integral to the shipping industry and over the last year we discovered just how important our industry is to keep the world trade flowing. 

Seafarers have been identified to be key workers; however, their duties have since increased, concerns for safety, the future of shipping and work have been highlighted by seafarers themselves. Awareness to new and old challenges that have needed to be addressed, include difficult working conditions, lack of clarity when accessing ports, repatriation, crew changeovers and so much more.

The future of the shipping industry is through seafarers, recognising their importance is only a small step to securing success for the industry. We must continue to acknowledge seafarer contribution, but also develop and adapt to the new generations of seafarers that will join. It is a priority to attract future prospects to join the industry and we cannot do that without evolving.

IMO has called for action to have seafarer voices be heard, carrying on from their campaign during Day of the Seafarer back in June, a series of profiles were released for more insight into seafarers’ views. Even though the problems that are prevalent give a bleak outlook for life of a seafarer, there is optimism and reading through the profiles, one seafarer speaks of the digitisation of the shipping industry. 

“Seafarers must be technologically savvy if they want to thrive in the new era of shipping. We, the new generation, grew up tinkering not only with hand tools but also programmes and software. We just need a little bit of further training and education and we can join in revolutionising the industry for the better! To have competent officers capable of crewing the ships of tomorrow, we first have to level up the quality of our education system and adapt it to the changing times.”

We must take responsibility to encourage the progression of maritime education, we must evolve as the crew evolves with training. Being able to shape the seafarer for the future will alleviate the struggles and not only look after health and safety for life on board ship, but also the mental aspect which has been especially testing since the pandemic, with training offering solutions how to operate on board and how to look after seafarer wellbeing. 

The future of maritime education will be cloud based; therefore, information will be more and more shareable and accessible. The challenge is not to modernise and digitalise the industry itself, because the real challenge is to re-educate the stakeholders and players in the maritime educational industry. The maritime educational industry represents the pillar of the future seaborn trade, safeness and effectiveness for the years to come.”

  • Tim Grech
  • Digital Marketing Specialist