The joint WMU-ITF research provides an in-depth exploration of a number of maritime issues related to future ship technologies and seeks to qualify the probable impact on seafarers.
- Like all other workers, seafarers should be provided with unlimited access to high-quality Internet connections. Advocating for high-quality shipboard Internet among shipowners and flag States could help minimize stress and maximize social relations among seafarers on board.
- Shipowners should provide facilities and encourage an environment where seafarers engage in more social activities with their onboard co-workers. They should actively solicit ideas for social activities from seafarers.
- There should be an awareness campaign among seafarers about the potential harmful side effects of the excessive use of the Internet on board (as at any other workplace). Seafarers should also be encouraged to learn self-management skills in terms of time spent on the Internet.
We must ensure that seafarers’ welfare is properly taken into account, just as we need to ensure that current and future seafarers are adequately trained to handle shifting technologies while continuing to promote diversity and gender parity in maritime.
… said Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO)
#1 Technology Road Map
Findings include a Technology Road Map that offers comprehensive insights into future shipping technologies and their evolution in the maritime industry, looking primarily at automation and the technology transition.
Divided into short, medium and long-term expectation horizons, the Technology Road Map covers industry trends within main and subtechnologies, including the relevant policies, opportunities and threats they respectively entail as reported by key stakeholders.
#2 Effect of technological transition
According to the report, the technological transition in the maritime industry will affect seafarers differently depending on their profession, rank and job function.
Seafarer skill foresights are presented in alignment with the Technology Road Map, taking into consideration a wider scope of technological developments within smart, MASS and green shipping that will affect the future of work at sea.
Findings include that upskilling and reskilling are important interventions in support of seafarers in light of the rapid change their working environment is set to undergo due to the advancement of smart and green technologies.
They must be fairly compensated, with paid familiarization time and where their skills are upgraded: so should their pay.
… said Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
Throughout the report, the importance of training is highlighted as critical to the success of the transition towards automation and digitalization. The report also projects that technological transition in the industry is expected to result in the emergence of a range of new kinds of jobs for seafaring professionals.
The report projects that the impact of such new technologies on seafarers will be influenced not only by their individual preparedness for change but also by the conditions offered by each country.
In order to promote the recruitment and retention of seafarers, it is essential to secure full respect of their rights as enshrined in the ILO Maritime Labour Convention and help them get ready to cope with current and future technological developments.
… said Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director General, International Labour Organization (ILO)