The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) has launched its Maritime Growth Plan for sustainable growth in the maritime sector.
ECSA, a shipping sector trade association representing associations of ship owners across the EU and Norway, has released its proposal for a strategic framework for the governance of the maritime industry, titled ‘An EU Maritime Growth Plan for sustainable maritime jobs, growth and competitiveness’. The plan aims to boost competitiveness and ensure the continued creation of job opportunities in the European shipping sector, which directly employs more than 640,000 workers and supports the indirect or induced employment of around 1.4 million.
ECSA Secretary General Martin Dorsman said: “European shipping and the broader maritime sector are strategically important for the EU in terms of its contributions to trade, geopolitical role and as an important source of employment. With this in mind, it is high time to have a jobs and growth strategy that recognises the strategic importance of Europe’s maritime knowhow.
“Through this plan, European shipowners stand committed to take forward the objectives of ‘developing an attractive, smart, safe, social and sustainable quality shipping’ and a ‘world-class maritime cluster’, identified by Member States for the EU’s maritime transport policy. ECSA calls upon all actors in the sector, at EU, national and local levels, to join forces to reach these objectives and achieve meaningful and viable solutions without compromising the competitiveness of the sector.”
ECSA’s Maritime Growth Plan advocates the preservation of the EU’s policy framework for oversight of the shipping industry; as well as recommending an increase in support for innovation and competitiveness in the sector. The plan calls for concerted action both to maintain the presence within the industry of skilled, experienced individuals and to boost the attractiveness of shipping to potential new workers; particularly among women and other underrepresented groups.
Tim Springett, ECSA’s spokesperson to the Social Dialogue Committee for Maritime Transport, said: “ECSA’s member associations and member companies are fully committed to implementing this plan and will engage with stakeholders at national level to develop the appropriate mix of measures according to the national circumstances. We will also continue to work with EU-level stakeholders to take forward this strategic framework over the coming legislature. We are strongly convinced this will provide the EU with the right course of action needed to ensure it delivers over the coming legislature on its goals of a more socially sustainable industry by enhancing the training, competitiveness and employment of EU seafarers.”