The International Maritime Organization is celebrating World Maritime Day, which this year has a theme of “maritime education and training”, emphasising the importance of shipping safety and security in today’s industry.
Each World Maritime Day theme is reflected in the IMO’s work throughout the relevant year.
Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the IMO, said: “Without a quality labour force, motivated, trained and skilled to the appropriate international standards, shipping cannot thrive.
“Not only that, all the many advances that have been made, in terms of safety and environmental impact, are at risk if personnel within the industry are unable to implement them properly. The importance of training and education for the maritime personnel of today and tomorrow is greater than ever before.”
Mr Sekimizu also highlighted the need for greater efforts to be made to bring new generations into seafaring as a profession, noting that seafaring must be seen to appeal to new generations as a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Mr Sekimizu continues: “The world depends on a safe, secure and efficient shipping industry; and the shipping industry depends on an adequate supply of seafarers to operate the ships that carry the essential cargoes we all rely on.”
To encourage young people into choosing further education and careers in the maritime world and to raise awareness, IMO’s London Headquarters opened its doors on September 22-23 to more than 300 primary and secondary age school children.
The IMO has also established the IMO Maritime Ambassador Scheme, to promote the rich and varied career opportunities for young people, both at sea and ashore, in the multi-faceted maritime world.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General to the United Nations, said: “Today, shipping is a modern, highly technical, professional discipline that requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and expertise from the maritime workforce. A safe, secure and clean shipping industry can only be built on effective standards of education and training, which is the theme for this year's World Maritime Day.”
Fact File: World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day, celebrated every year, providing an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasise a particular aspect of IMO's work. Individual governments are encouraged to mark the day, on a date of their choosing but usually in the last week of September.