The IMO Council has endorsed a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to adopt “Maritime education and training” as the World Maritime Day theme for 2015.
Addressing the IMO Council, meeting for its 112th session at IMO Headquarters in London, Sekimizu said that effective standards of training remained the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry, which needs to preserve the quality, practical skills and competence of qualified human resources, in order to ensure its sustainability.
“The 1978 STCW Convention and Code, as amended, has set the international benchmark for the training and education of seafarers. While compliance with its standards is essential for serving on board ships, the skills and competence of seafarers, and indeed, the human element ashore, can only be adequately underpinned, updated and maintained through effective maritime education and training,” Sekimizu said.
Sekimizu said that it was pertinent and timely for IMO to focus its attention on the wider spectrum of maritime education and training, in particular its adequacy and quality.
IMO as an organization supports the skills-based training events and the sharing of technical knowledge, through national and regional Integrated Technical Cooperation Program (ITCP) training events and workshops, which provide short up-grading courses, based typically on the IMO Model Courses. On another level, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) are at the forefront of IMO’s capacity-building strategy, supporting post-graduate training in order to maintain a cadre of high-level managers, policy-makers and other key personnel.
“The ITCP training events, together with the education imparted through WMU and IMLI, are there to ensure that more and more maritime personnel thoroughly understand, and can therefore implement effectively, the IMO standards and norms,” Sekimizu said.
The World Maritime Day theme provides a focus for year-round activities while the day itself is celebrated at IMO Headquarters and around the world in the last week of September. Since 2005, a formal parallel event has also been held, hosted by an IMO Member State.
In 2015 the Parallel Event will be held in Japan and in 2016 in Turkey.