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IMO chief highlights seafarer’s role in automated future

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim speaking at the launch of the Transport 2040 report IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim speaking at the launch of the Transport 2040 report

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the need to consider seafarer training and standards as the use of technology in shipping evolves in the future, and the automation of tasks currently performed by humans continues to grow.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}“How will the seafarer of the future manage the challenges related to an increasing level of technology and automation in maritime transport? How will the new technologies impact on the nature of jobs in the industry? What standards will seafarers be required to meet with respect to education, training and certification to qualify them for the jobs of the future?” Mr Lim said.

“Member States and the industry need to anticipate the impact these changes may have and how they will be addressed.”

Mr Lim was speaking at the launch of a new International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and World Maritime University (WMU) report, Transport 2040: Automation, Technology and Employment - the Future of Work, which offers an independent assessment of how automation will affect the future of work in the transport industry, focusing on technological changes and automation in road, air, rail and maritime transport.

The report concludes that the introduction of automation in global transport will be “evolutionary, rather than revolutionary,” and that “despite high levels of automation, qualified human resources with the right skill sets will still be needed in the foreseeable future”. Technological advances are inevitable, but will be gradual and vary by region. Workers will be affected in different ways based on their skill levels and the varying degrees of preparedness of different countries.

The integration of new and advancing technologies into the regulatory framework is an important strategic direction for IMO, balancing the benefits derived from new and advancing technologies against safety and security concerns. These include the potential impact on the environment and on international trade facilitation, the potential costs to the industry, and the impact of technological change on personnel, both on board and ashore.{/mprestriction}

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