Incentives for skills supply in a socially sustainable shipping

There is a shortage of qualified seafarers, and something needs to be done to meet future increasing demands. Basically, more people need to be recruited to work at sea, but existing seafarers also need to be looked after so that they can thrive and want to stay. Since seafaring is a male dominated occupation, a first step is to attract more women, as well as other minorities, by showing the advantages of a seagoing career.

Conversations with students studying a maritime education at various levels clearly show that the shipping business must increase its visibility. More people would probably apply for a seafaring profession if they only knew that the professions existed and what they meant. The outdated image of who a sailor is needs to change. The modern seafarer is foremost a flexible problem solver; physical strength or sex hardly ever matters. Furthermore, it is also important to create a good and welcoming atmosphere for new members. To increase the retention rate, all seafarers need sustainable working conditions where they can thrive and develop. A ship, just like any other workplaces ashore, should be free from workplace bullying and harassment. Still, global efforts need to be made throughout the industry, to safeguard the well-being of seafarers.

The project was funded by Trafikverket (The Swedish Transport Administration).

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