Seafarers Go Digital

European Shipowners and Maritime Transport Unions launch initiative to support shipping and seafarers in the digital transition

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF), the European social partners for maritime transport, join forces to launch today the ‘Seafarers Go Digital’ initiative.

‘Seafarers Go Digital’ is a mutual commitment of ECSA and ETF seeking to identify and address the challenges of digitalisation for shipping and seafarers.

The initiative recognises the need to adapt international regulations, training programmes and operational practices so that digital technologies are embraced while the employment rights and well-being of seafarers are safeguarded. The initiative raises awareness on key areas such as onboard digitalisation, cybersecurity, internet access onboard, e-certification, digital skills and attractiveness of the maritime profession and puts forward policy recommendations for further cooperation between the industry and the unions, the policymakers, and relevant stakeholders.

“Supporting shipping and seafarers in the digital transition is a key priority for European Shipowners. We need to ensure that seafarers are upskilled and reskilled to work safely with the new digital tools and technologies. Digitalisation can help make the profession more attractive and more diverse, offering career opportunities onboard and ashore and enhancing the participation of women and underrepresented groups” said Sotiris Raptis, ECSA Secretary General.

“The ‘Seafarers Go Digital’ initiative responds to the need of preparing the maritime professionals for the digital age. Having in mind the need to safeguarding the rights, welfare and safety of seafarers, we want to promote a fair and inclusive digital transition. Digitalisation can be an opportunity and help improve the attractiveness of the maritime professions. Through this initiative, we commit to working together to benefit the most from the digital transition while mitigating its risks and contributing to a sustainable and attractive future for seafarers” said Livia Spera, ETF Secretary General.

The ‘Seafarers Go Digital’ initiative was launched today during an event in Brussels, with interventions from Barbara Sellier, Acting Head of Unit Maritime Safety, European Commission, Manuela Tomassini, Head of Department, European Maritime Safety Agency, and Rhiannon Ducas, on behalf of the WESS Project. It builds on the outcome of joint ECSA-ETF projects WESS and SkillSea.

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