Maritime leaders call for more investment in data sharing and crew education

The members of the newly formed Future Maritime Leaders Network have called for improving the maritime industry for the workforce of tomorrow, by investing in data sharing and education of crews.

Illustration; Credit: Global Maritime Forum

As explained, the members, led by Global Maritime Forum (GMF), have identified three needs that we believe require focused attention and action. These include:

  • increasing transparency and accountability across the maritime industry,
  • upgrading maritime education and training, and
  • empowering people in the maritime industry.

The stakeholders call for increased transparency and accountability within the maritime industry, backed by robust mechanisms like secure whistle-blower programs and data-sharing practices across the industry that can drive informed decision-making.

Specifically, this means clear common policies to guide collective efforts towards a more transparent and accountable industry will build much-needed trust and integrity.

Furthermore, the partners emphasized that maritime companies should invest more in education and establish partnerships with academic institutions to align curricula with industry needs.

By embracing digitalization and AI, the current and future workforce can be equipped with the necessary skills to navigate the evolving landscape of maritime technology. It is also crucial to promote the maritime sector as a viable career option for young people.

Moreover, Crew members must be given safe working conditions, fair wages, and protection from abuse. They recommend implementing wellness programs to address seafarers’ mental and physical health and providing clear channels for reporting abuses or concerns without fear of retaliation.

The maritime industry should lead by example, championing inclusivity and diversity, it was highlighted.

“The Future Maritime Leaders Network stands ready to collaborate with industry leaders and stakeholders to address these critical issues. By working together to increase transparency and accountability, upgrade education and training, and empower individuals within the maritime industry, we can build a more resilient and sustainable future for our sector,” the members concluded.

Recently, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has launched a new survey to explore the impact of decarbonization of the maritime sector on the lives of seafarers.

This comes in the wake of the maritime sector beginning to respond to the climate emergency and the urgent need to decarbonize shipping.

ISWAN expressed concern that that the changes that the maritime sector is undergoing in order to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 could be placing additional stress on seafarers’ mental health and potentially further eroding their wellbeing at work. 

Additionally, a recent study commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force found that up to 800,000 seafarers could require additional training to handle alternative fuels and technologies by the mid-2030s.

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