Don’t skimp on training outlays, ICS boss warns

Training acts not only as a career enhancer, but also plays an essential role in the modernisation of the shipping industry as a whole, said Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) today, as he delivered the keynote speech at this year’s Crew Connect Global Conference in Manila.

“The future sustainability of the industry requires an evolutionary response to the training and retention of seafarers,” he stressed. “We need to do more than simply respond to changing needs, we must learn to anticipate them and thereby control the development of the industry. “

The ICS boss was concerned that the poor shipping economy could lead to poorer training of seafarers.

“There is always a danger in these circumstances that investment in training can be a victim,” warned Poulsson. “Now, perhaps as never before, companies must have an eye to the future and consider that significant growth in shipping could return within the next five years. Employers must recognise that decisions made in these difficult times should not inhibit the future sustainability of the industry. Investment in training and recruitment is an essential part of assuring good industrial health.

On the advent of smart shipping, Poulsson suggested: “Seafarers may no longer be required so much to use machines but rather to collaborate with them.”


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. With autonomous ships lurking on the horizon (with some already in service), perhaps that closing quote should be scaled down to just the first six words?

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