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ILO: Women, young seafarers to gain more access to industry

The International Labour Organization (ILO)
unveiled a plan to make the maritime profession more attractive and
accessible to young and women seafarers only days ahead of the International
Women’s Day 2019.

In a roadmap that was agreed at the event in Geneva,
Switzerland, which took place from February 25 to March 1, representatives from
more than 40 countries in addition to social partners further identified ways
of addressing the gap in recruitment and retention of seafarers.
As noted by the International Transport Workers’
Federation (ITF), this was the first time ever at an ILO meeting the three
spokespeople representing the ship owners, the seafarers and the governments
were all women, namely, Kathy Metcalf, President & CEO of the Chamber of
Shipping of America, Lena Dyring, ITF Seafarers’ Section Women Transport
Workers’ Representative and Mayte Medina, Chief, Office of Merchant Mariner
Credential, US Coast Guard.
The three days of discussion addressed a number of
topics, including those facing cadets, trainees and women in gaining access to
the industry, automation and digitalisation, recruitment and placement,
abandonment, shore leaves, mental distress and many more.
The meeting concluded that the roadmap ahead would
include stakeholders taking a proactive role in ensuring facilitation of shore
leave and the establishment of seafarers’ welfare committees. Allowing cadets,
trainees, young seafarers and women to gain the necessary sea time for
licencing was included.
What is more, the roadmap calls for the
repatriation of abandoned seafarers and discharge their obligations in timely
manner toward seafarers in case of criminalisation piracy and armed robbery.
In addition, the meeting recommended that the ILO
convene a tripartite meeting with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
to consider issues common to seafarers including training and certification,
the promotion of the ratification of MLC 2006 and the effective implementation
of its provisions, and mapping out the number of women and their distribution
in the industry the provision by the ship owner of internet access for
seafarers at no or reasonable costs.
The meeting also addressed the major issues young
seafarers face when joining the industry which include social communication,
shore leave, training and sea time.
“We have asked for a structured campaign to be
launched by the ILO with the support of the social partners, and we have looked
at the alignment of school and training curriculum to provide the right skills
necessary to be the seafarers of the future,” 
Dorotea Zec, ITF Seafarers’ Section Young Transport Workers’
representative, said.

World Maritime News

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