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Event programme

Shaping the Future of Shipping – Seafarer 2050 Summit

Monday 26 June 2023, Manila, The Philippines 

Conrad Hotel, Manila, The Philippines

Without a skilled, agile and well-trained work force, the transformation of shipping will be stifled, and the rapid and smooth conduct of global trade put at risk.
Shaping the Future of Shipping – Seafarer 2050 is supported by the global shipping sector, The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), and will bring together government ministers, regulators, shipowners, ship managers, charterers, industry leaders and technology and infrastructure providers to discuss the requirements for seafarers in 2050.
The Summit will consider the elements required for a successful transformation of seafarers’ roles to meet the needs of shipping in the future, including education and training, building capacity and resilience, recruitment and retention of seafarers, and ensuring that any transition is safe, equitable and human-centric.
In addition, Shaping the Future of Shipping – Seafarer 2050 will consider the risks to shipping and global trade inherent in industry transformation and the investments and changes that will need to
be made to ensure that sufficient numbers of skilled seafarers are available to fulfil the requirements of shipping in 2050.

About ICS Conferences
Attendance is by invitation only to ministers, government representatives, senior leaders in the shipping sector, policy makers, financiers, and representatives of civil society.


Session Themes/Outline Programme

To download the programme please click here.


08:00–09:00           Registration
09:00–09:30           Welcome & Opening Keynote Addresses

09:30–09:55            Session 1A: Keynote: Ships & Shipping 2050

The adoption of sustainable fuels and digital technologies are driving the development of shipping at an unparalleled rate. In a speculative but realistic examination of the future requirements of the industry, we set the scene and look at the key questions:
• What will ships and the shipping industry look like in 2050?
• What skills will seafarers be required to have to operate the new generation of ships?

09:55-10:40           Session 1B: The Seafarer 2050

An invited panel will discuss the implications for the industry of the keynote presentations.

10:40-11:15            Refreshment and Networking Break

11:15-12:15             Session 2: Strategic Supply: Education & Training – Building Global Capacity & Resilience

Shipowners/managers/crew managers source their seafarers globally – What makes a good source of seafarers? Where will shipping look for the seafarers of the future – the traditional providers or the new kids on the block? How can countries position themselves optimally to meet
the demand for seafarers? Will national demographics influence the supply of seafarers?

Cost is important, but skills are vital. Where are STEM-capable trainees going to come from? Can national education systems provide the candidates? What will training for seafarers look like? Can maritime training centres manage the required changes in training?

12:15-13:30            Formal Lunch

13:30-14:00           Firestarter Keynote Presentation – An Industry in Transition

14:00-14:45           Session 3: Seafarer 2050 – Recruitment & Retention

With an increasing level of skills now required for a sea-going career, especially IT/digital skills and the ability to handle sustainable fuels, there will be an increased level of competition from shore-based business for candidates with the same skill sets.

How easy will it be to keep seafaring as an attractive career?

What is the future of work at sea? With increased competition for seafarers and technical advances that require ship or fleet-specific skill sets, is the future for seafaring a continuous employment career model or will the multiple contract model of employment be maintained?

Is visibility of a post-sea transition to a land-based role now a required option?

Do seafarers’ terms and conditions of employment (wellbeing) need to change to keep shipping competitive in the global marketplace for staff?

14:45-15:30           Session 4: Opportunities Within an Expanding Shipping Sector and the Risk to Global Trade

The number of ships at sea has doubled in the past 25 years and is set to expand significantly again in the next 25 years with sectors including cruise, offshore support for renewable energy projects and the need to transport new, low density fuels set for significant growth.

There is already a shortage of officers and a continued inability to obtain skilled crew in a growing industry presents a systemic risk, not only to shipping as a business, but also to the smooth flow of global trade.

In a world of changing demographics, how will the industry respond to this challenge: will it be able to find the skilled crew it needs?

Will the need to operate with fewer seafarers drive the transition to increased levels of automation on ships?

An invited panel will discuss the implications to the industry of the world presented by the two initial keynote speakers.

15:30-16:00          Afternoon Refreshments

16:00-16:45          Session 5: Opportunities for National Economic Development

Seafarers make a major contribution to the GDP of some countries.

What economic benefits could the up-skilling of seafarers deliver to these countries and others who may enter the seafarer supply chain?

What other benefits could accrue from investment in seafarer education?

What do we have to do to ensure that national infrastructure systems, such as education, deliver a Just Transition?

16:45-17:30      Session 6: A Just Transition

Considering the themes and issues raised in the previous sessions, what actions must be taken to ensure that shipping’s response to the climate emergency puts seafarers at the heart of the solution? How will we achieve a safe, equitable and human-centred approach to the transition towards a decarbonised shipping industry? Who needs to move first Government or industry? How should they coordinate their actions?

17:30-17:40      Closing Remarks

17:30-19:30      Reception – Celebration of our Seafarers

The day will conclude with an evening reception to celebrate the International Day of the Seafarer, Mark the 13th Anniversary of the Manila Amendment and the work of the Just Transition Task Force.


For all enquiries regarding attendance please contact Richard Emsley: [email protected]

Download the full event programme