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Skip Navigation Links39-WMD-2015- World Maritime Day 2015: Maritime education and training

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Maritime education and training


Briefing: 39 24/09/2015  

​“Without a quality labour force, motivated, trained and skilled to the appropriate international standards, shipping cannot thrive.” (

Photos courtesy Mexico national merchant marine training trust Fideicomiso de Formación y Capacitación para el Personal de la Marina Mercante Nacional  (FIDENA))

Today (24 September), IMO is celebrating World Maritime Day, with the theme “Maritime education and training”.

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 emphasize 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.

Each World Maritime Day has its own theme, which is reflected in IMO’s work throughout the year. In 2015, attention has focused on the need for high quality maritime education and training, as the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry.

“Without a quality labour force, motivated, trained and skilled to the appropriate international standards, shipping cannot thrive,” IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said, in his annual World Maritime Day message.

“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,” Mr. Sekimizu said. “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. “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,” Mr. Sekimizu said.

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 Tuesday (22 September) and Wednesday (23 September) to more than 300 primary and secondary age school children, from local and international schools based in London, for special World Maritime Day events.  

The young people engaged with seafarer cadets from all over the world and representatives from maritime training institutes and international shipping organizations, who outlined the benefits and attractions of a career at sea and in the broader maritime professions.

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. 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also issued a message for World Maritime Day,

"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,” Mr. Ban said.

Social Media
Governments, organizations, companies and training institutes, as well as individuals, are encouraged to let IMO know how World Maritime Day is being celebrated, using the hashtag #WorldMaritmeDay2015  @IMOHQ

A full package of resources is available from the IMO website. Click here to find logos, the message from the Secretary-General, a background paper, a video, and the message from the UN Secretary-General.
World Maritime Day Parallel Event
The World Maritime Day Parallel Event was held in Japan from 20 to 21 July 2015. 


IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

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For further information please contact:
Lee Adamson, Head, Public Information Services on 020 7587 3153 (
Natasha Brown, Media and Communications Officer on 020 7587 3274 (