WMU Shares Research Findings at ITF Seafarers’ Conference

On 5 December, the World Maritime University (WMU) contributed to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Section Conference in Santiago, Chile - the world’s largest meeting of maritime workers’ representatives with approximately 300 delegates, from 129 unions in 70 countries.

WMU was represented by Professor Aykut Ölcer, Nippon Foundation Chair, Director of Maritime Research, and Head of Maritime Energy Management who delivered a presentation about WMU’s recently released report - Transport 2040: Impact of Technology on Seafarers - The Future of Work - that focuses on the impact of new technologies on maritime 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 Future Skills and Competencies, and Occupational Health & 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.

Professor Ölcer participated in a successive Transport 2040 panel discussion that included lively discussions on how regulators can ensure the welfare of seafarers and the role of consultative process with the industry to support a smooth and equitable transition toward a greener shipping.  

WMU’s contribution to the conference 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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