WMU: Transport 2040 – Impact of Technology on Seafarers – The Future of Work Seafarers News

Manila, June 27, 2023 – Stakeholders from the maritime industry convened in Manila today to address the critical shortage of personnel at sea in the shipping sector. The purpose of the meeting was to address the pressing issue that is raising concerns about the future of the industry. To coincide with the event, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the World Maritime University (WMU) jointly released a comprehensive report entitled “Transport 2040 – Impact of Technology on Seafarers – The Future of Work,” This also includes a unique technology roadmap.

The technology roadmap, presented during the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) event “Shaping the Future of Shipping” in Manila, was the result of empirical collaboration between stakeholders and experts, many of whom have maritime experience. Over the course of three workshops, a diverse group of 50 experts from diverse maritime backgrounds, including technologists, academics, NGOs, shipping companies and regulators, identified the top ten industry trends, future maritime technologies and necessary guidelines to facilitate technology adoption.

The roadmap includes aggregated technologies dependent on the development of other technological advances. The report emphasized that these interconnected technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way ships are designed, built and operated. Key drivers of this technological interoperability and integration include autonomous decision-making and artificial intelligence. However, the successful implementation of these technologies depends on the adoption of appropriate regulatory frameworks, global standardization and increased collaboration between maritime stakeholders, as the report points out.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos also attended the summit, expressing his commitment to the future of the industry, encouraging delegates to envision and shape the industry and global trade for the next 25 years. President Marcos emphasized the importance of identifying the capabilities needed for the new generation of ships, discussing education and training needs, and ensuring a fair and just transition to foster a sustainable and resilient shipping industry.

Simultaneously, at the same event, the ICS launched a video entitled “An Adventurous Spirit” to showcase the diverse and fascinating career opportunities in seafaring. The initiative aims to attract more people to the industry and address the urgent need for an estimated 90,000 certified officers by 2026 to support the operational needs of the world merchant fleet.

Natalie Shaw, Director of Employment Affairs at ICS, expressed concern about the recruitment crisis facing the shipping industry. Shaw emphasized the goal of promoting seafaring as an attractive career choice by providing an insider’s perspective through the video. In production, seafarers discuss openly their jobs, the challenges they face and the opportunities that this area offers.

As the Maritime Summit in Manila progresses, industry leaders and stakeholders remain striving to find solutions to the workforce shortage and to harness the transformative potential of new technologies. The concerted effort displayed during this event underscores a determination to advance the shipping industry while addressing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

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