Day Theme

Trade and Competitiveness

Day Theme

Safe and Social Shipping

Day Theme

Shipping and the Environment

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Waves of Change: Future Proofing – Skills and Safety

18th February 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

How do we maximise the transformation in shipping to future proof skills and improve on-board working environment?”


The increased digitalisation and automation and new environmental requirements are changing the maritime industry. The change also affects the maritime professions.

These transformations require close attention from the social partners. They have direct implications in terms of training and skills, the nature and structure of onboard roles, working conditions, safety and security, and overall well-being of seafarers.

The seafarer education and training needs to keep up with the change and try to anticipate the future mariner’s role on board. The vessels are already today filled with the high technology equipment, moving jobs and control away from ships to shore, and the amount, role and significance of the technology will increase. Machine learning, data analytics and other means of harnessing the modern technology to support the safe and efficient navigation and operation of the vessel are being introduced and implemented at a rapid pace.

In view of this, in 2018 ECSA and ETF spearheaded the ‘SkillSea project for a Blueprint for a skills strategy for the shipping sector, funded under the Erasmus + programme. This 4-year long project aims to develop a sustainable skills strategy for European maritime professionals  and to increase the numbers of these professionals – enhancing the safety and efficiency of this vital sector.

Over the next two years, the European Social Partners for Maritime Transport, ECSA and ETF, will work on a new project funded by the EU which will include:

  • Developing guidelines, based on good practices, on provision and appropriate use of internet on board for personal use of seafarers, and
  • Investigating the examples of increased use of digitalisation on board and possible improvements to shipboard safety and welfare.

The increased use of digitalisation on board ships is ‘evolutionary not revolutionary’. While it may eventually lead to certain operational tasks being shifted ashore, it will also bring possibilities to enhance the safety of navigation and the working safety of the seafarers.

While it is impossible to know what the future seafaring will look like or what the exact timetable of the development steps ahead, the safe and efficient development of the industry requires that the skills of the seafarers, level of technology and scope of the rules and regulations be in balance and evolve simultaneously.

Come to join us in this important event that will feature a line-up of persons from the academic world, social partners.



14.00 – 14.05 INTRODUCTORY WORDS by the moderator – Sinikka Hartonen, Head of Environment and Technology, Finnish Shipowners’​ Association
14.05 – 14.15 Setting the Scene: Pantelis Lamprianidis, DG MOVE
14.15 – 15.00 Panel debate – Skills of the future

–     Andrew Linington, Nautilus UK

–      Robert Carrington, UK Chamber of Shipping

–      Renee Boelaars, Managing Director Innovation and Educational Development, STC Group

15.00– 15.30






15.30 – 15.45

Skillsea: A blueprint for sectoral cooperation for a skills strategy: presentation:

–     General overview of SkillSea project –  Lidia Rossi, EU Project Manager, FORMARE

–     Mapping of skills needs – Hans Petter Hildre, Head of department/professor, Department of Ocean Operation and Civil Engineering, NTNU Ålesund, Norway

–     Qualifications and sectoral cooperation  – Susie Bogojevic-Simonsen, Manager of Legal Affairs and Internationalisation, SIMAC, Denmark

Q&A with the audience

15.45 – 16.15 COFFEE BREAK
16.15 – 17.00






17.00 – 17.15


Impact of digitilisation and automation on the working environment of present and future seafarers

·         Captain Jonas Gunnarson, Swedish Shipowners’ Association

·         Dr Tiago Fonseca Technical Officer (Research Unit), WMU

·         Representative from ETF (tbc)

Q&A with the audience

17.15 – 17.30 CLOSING REMARKS

·         Josianne Cutajar, Member of the European Parliament

·         Wrap up by Sinikka Hartonen, Head of Environment and Technology, Finnish Shipowners’​ Association



18th February 2020
2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:




Boulevard de Waterloo 38
Brussels, 1000 Belgium
+ Google Map
+ 32 2 504 11 11