Intercargo is concerned about the numbers of seafarers to meet the future needs of an expanding bulk carrier fleet and where these professionals might be sourced from. In addition the adequacy of the existing training regime for the modern safety conscious bulk carrier sector is being considered.
Intercargo believes that it will be necessary to give far more attention to the quantum and quality of seafarers’ training if the future Bulk Carrier fleet is to be manned and accidents reduced.
Intercargo has commenced the formation of a Training and Manpower Correspondence Group to consider policy with regard to:
- issues connected with the supply and demand of seafarers for the expanding Bulk Carrier fleet,
- competency issues vis-à-vis the established STCW Training Regime and
- issues connected with the human element and how this interacts with Casualties and other Negative Performance Indicators noted in Intercargo’s Benchmarking Report.
Summary of Recent Developments
Intercargo has formed a Correspondence Group to investigate the issues mentioned in Point 1 above. The issues that will be considered by the Group are as follows :-
- Demand and Supply for seafarers in the Bulk Sector – to merely note the statistical data and the various hypotheses on timing without engaging in debate on the detail.
- Value added training – inviting the CG to confirm that this should not be mandatory
- Company specific practices –
- Cadet berths
- Raising profile of industry and the likelihood that seafarers will continue to be sourced in traditional nations such as the Philippines rather than through as-yet-undetected nations
- Classroom courses in training centres
- Technical seminars
- Sailing visits by on-board training superintendents
- Industry and Company feedback when on leave
- Publicity – newsletters and magazines
- Computer Based Training programmes (CBT) e,g Videotel
- Feedback from P&I Clubs, Underwriters and other industry sources
- The initial suggestion that specific training techniques require CBT
- On-board dynamics – multi-nationalities
- Motivation of seafarers to extend the time they would wish to spend at sea
- Consideration of de-motivating factors and what can be done to address this. Does de-motivation impact on safety ?
- “Habitability” – e.g the provision of Broadband internet
Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006)
Following the announcement that the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) has now been ratified by 30 ILO Member States, the Convention will enter into force in 12 months’ time, in August 2013.
The latest States to ratify the Convention are Russia and the Philippines, meaning that the gross tonnage requirement of at least 33% has also now been surpassed and currently stands at just below 60%.
Shipowners will need to ensure they are ready before the new regime of global labour standards comes into force. Significantly, the MLC will be subject to port state control, including the potential for more detailed inspections if ships are thought not to comply, and the possibility of detention in serious cases of non-compliance or where hazardous conditions exist.
The MLC 2006 is often considered to be the ‘fourth pillar’ of shipping regulation, alongside IMO SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW Conventions, and as such is likely to be strictly enforced by flag states and port state control.
The MLC addresses a wide range of matters including seafarer’s welfare, crew accommodation and working hours and an important feature of the Convention’s enforcement will be the issue of ‘Maritime Labour Certificates’ by flag administrations following an inspection. There is also a requirement for ships to complete and maintain on board a ‘Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance’.