The high importance of the maritime sector to the European economy reflects the necessity of improving the qualifications of seafarers and enable them to achieve safe, secure, environmentally sound and efficient shipping. The sustainability of this dynamic sector depends on the ability to continue to attract a sufficient number of quality new entrants and retain experienced seafarers, including women seafarers and other under-represented groups. A creative approach involving the social partners and all other relevant stakeholders is necessary, in order to achieve both meaningful and viable solutions.

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) – the EU recognised Social Partners’ organisations representing the interests of employers and employees in the Social Dialogue Committee for the Maritime transport sector – acknowledge the importance of prioritising efforts that contribute to an attractive, smart and sustainable working environment in the shipping sector and reaffirmed their commitment by working on the joint WESS project (2020-2022), funded by the EU.

The WESS project supports the work towards jobs, growth and competitiveness of the European shipping industry and involves the implementation of several activities centred around two Pillars:

Pillar 1:
Impact of digitalisation on the workforce


Pillar 2:
Enhancing the participation
of women in EU shipping


WESS final conference – 30 November 2022