WMU Contributes to OECD Workshop on Labour Issues in the Shipbuilding and Marine Equipment Industries

On 21 November, the World Maritime University contributed to the OECD Workshop entitled Labour Issues in the Shipbuilding and Marine Equipment Industries: Breaking away from “Tradition”. The workshop provided an opportunity for a range of stakeholders, policymakers, and countries' representatives to better understand the labour situation in the shipbuilding sector and to exchange information on policy measures to be taken by governments and actions taken by the private sector to address these challenges.

Dr Khanssa Lagdami, ITF Seafarers’ Trust Assistant Professor, represented WMU and presented in the session on responses to key challenges regarding labour in shipbuilding and marine equipment. In particular, Dr Lagdami addressed key labour issues in shipbuilding from the viewpoint of universities and research. In her remarks, Dr Lagdami highlighted the Transport 2040 - Future of Work research conducted by WMU, including the recent Phase II report - Transport 2040: Impact of Technology on Seafarers - The Future of Work - that focuses on the impact of new technologies on maritime workers, including shipbuilding workers. The research results provide an in-depth exploration of a number of maritime issues related to future ship technologies, including automation, and seeks to qualify the probable impact on maritime workers including in terms of Occupational Health and Safety. Key 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.

WMU’s contribution to the workshop underscores the University’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 4 in support of education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, Goal 5 on gender equality, and Goal 8 on decent work for all. 

About the Transport 2040 - Future of Work Project

The Phase 1 Report - Transport 2040, Automation, Technology, Employment - was launched in 2019 and provides an overview of the most significant global trends in automation and technology affecting transport workers. Key findings indicated that technological advances will be gradual and vary by region, and that workers will be affected in different ways based on their skill levels and the preparedness of different countries.

Building on the insights of Phase I, Phase II began in May 2020 looking specifically at technology evolution, the future skills and competencies, as well as occupational health and safety of seafarers. Technology evolution considerations include green, digital and smart technologies as they relate to maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) as well as conventional shipping. The resulting report - Transport 2040 - Impact of Technology on Seafarers - The Future of Work - was released on 26 June 2023.

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