28 July 2021
RMT Press Office:
RMT statement on International Chamber of Shipping BIMCO’s Seafarer Workforce Report.
SEAFARER Union RMT today responded to the International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO’s Seafarer Workforce Report 2021.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“This is a long overdue report, which again underlines the need to re-build our seafarer workforce. We welcome the 45% increase in female seafarers on the global fleet since 2015 but note that women still only hold 1.2% of the jobs, reflecting the industry’s long standing image problem.
“The age profile of Ratings from the main supplier countries provides the UK with an opportunity to invest in Ratings training to secure tens of thousands of good quality, green jobs in the UK shipping industry and internationally.
“We welcome what has been proposed elsewhere for Officer Cadets in the UK and today’s report reminds us of the urgent need to address the failure to train UK Ratings in recent years.
“Some shipowners continue to make millions during the pandemic. The collective emphasis must now shift to increasing jobs for Ratings and the UK’s international reputation for high seafarer training standards must play a part in increasing the supply of qualified women and men from across the UK to jobs in the shipping industry.”
Notes to Editors
1. The joint Seafarer Workforce Report 2021 was produced by BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping. The last major study of the global seafarers workforce was BIMCO’s Manpower Report published in 2015.
2. The global seafarer workforce has grown by nearly 16%, from 1.64m in 2015 to 1.9m in 2021 (1.1m Ratings and 858,000 Officers).
3. Average age of all seafarers has increased since 2015. STCW certified Ratings from India are younger but ‘significant proportions’ of STCW certified Ratings from China, Philippines and the Ukraine are over 51 y.o.
4. Since 2015, the number of female seafarers has increased by 45% to 24,000 but still only accounts for 1.2% of the global workforce. Most female seafarers work as Ratings, mainly in the cruise and passenger ferry sectors.
5. The Maritime Skills Commission in the UK recently recommended increased public funding to meet the cost of training Officer Cadets.
6. Shipping companies, particularly in the container and cargo sectors continue to make huge profits during the pandemic. According to Lloyds List (26 July), the daily cost of chartering a neo-panamax container ship (capable of carrying 9,000 teu containers) for six to twelve months is currently over $103,000 per day.