“... My message is to all young persons on the verge of choosing a future career to seriously consider seafaring, as even today it provides the chance to see the world and get paid for doing so! It also provides for a fulfilling and rewarding professional career either as a lifelong seafarer or as a springboard for related professional jobs in the maritime industries ashore". Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General, IMO, on Seafarers Day (25 June 2012) .
The global shortage of seafarers, especially officers, has already reached serious proportions, threatening the very future of the international shipping industry, which is the lifeblood of world trade.
Recent reports have identified a current officer supply requirement of 498,000 in 2008, with an officer shortfall of 34,000. This figure is expected to rise to a projected officer shortfall in 2012 of 83,900.
The “Go to Sea!” campaign was launched in November 2008 in association with the International Labour Organization, the “Round Table” of shipping NGOs – BIMCO, ICS/ISF, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO – and the International Transport Workers Federation.
The specific aim is to promote seafaring as an attractive option for young people of the right calibre, one which can provide them with rewarding, stimulating and long-term prospects, not only at sea but also in the broader maritime industry.
With the “Go to sea!” initiative, IMO has opened an umbrella under which industry and Governments can mount their own campaigns to improve seafarer recruitment.
Marine Pilot Pink Zungu from South Africa
Photo by Terry Haywood