Tuesday, July 27, 2021

London International Shipping Week to Host Seafarer Welfare Conference

After a Year of Covid Time to Examine the Problems and Solutions
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – The build up to London International Shipping Week 2021 (LISW2021) is now well under way with the event running between 13 – 17 September with both real and virtual events being planned.

One of the events to kick off the week will be on the afternoon of that opening day when The Mission to Seafarers, The Seafarers’ Charity, Sailors’ Society and Stella Maris are together hosting a major industry conference on seafarer welfare, a subject which threw up a whole set of new problems this year caused by the pandemic. The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, commented:

“It is clear that the pandemic has severely impacted seafarer welfare and the industry continues to respond to many new and challenging circumstances from crew changes to vaccinations. This conference gathers some of the industry’s key voices and provides an opportunity to discuss the welfare issues faced by seafarers, whether the solutions were effective, and what will continue to be a priority in the months to come.

“If we have learnt anything, it’s that technology has been key to providing support, but we must always consider the bigger picture. We look forward to hosting the event on Monday 13th September at London International Shipping Week, and hope many can join us far and wide, unhindered by restrictions.”

The event will be chaired by John Adams, Vice President of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and feature four different panels, each exploring the impact of technology on crew welfare, particularly highlighting those lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic. Martin Foley, Stella Maris CEO said:

“The pandemic has both changed our ways of working and increased the vital importance of assisting the world's seafarers as they keep the world supplied. Once again, we are delighted to be working alongside Inmarsat and our maritime charity partners on this LISW conference. Our partnership working with corporates in the maritime sector is expanding all the time, and technology continues to play an ever-increasing role in how we care for and support seafarers.”

The panel discussions will focus on a number of different themes. The first will focus on how companies responded to changing welfare needs during 2020 and the measures which will retain best practices going forward. The second panel will include representatives from The Mission to Seafarers and Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS) discussing how to boost mental health digitally.

This will be followed by a session on what investment is needed in crew technology to provide for better welfare provision, what are the obstacles and how this will impact on the bottom line. To conclude, the final discussion will look at technology collaboration as a means of delivering seafarer services and will hosted by representatives from Stella Maris and Isle of Man Ship Registry. Sara Baade, CEO at Sailors’ Society observed:

“The past year has highlighted more than ever how digital applications can enable us to deliver an effective and broad range of welfare provision for seafarers. We are honoured to be holding this timely conference alongside Inmarsat and our fellow maritime charities and are excited to share some of the tried and tested digital welfare solutions available to support seafarers in their careers at sea, both today and beyond Covid-19."

Dr Grahaeme Henderson OBE, Chair of ‘Together in Safety’, will also deliver a keynote speech on the impact of technology on crew health and safety and Catherine Spencer CEO at The Seafarer’s Charity concluded:

“We are pleased to be part of this event once again as it brings together the maritime industry and charities to discuss the importance of crew wellbeing.”

For more information on the conference, the full agenda, and details on joining virtually, please click HERE.

Photo: Image courtesy of MHSS.