Maritime jobs for the future

Seafarers Awareness Week

Inmarsat is honoured to be a gold sponsor of the 2016 Seafarers Awareness Week, being held on 20-26 June, which this year has the theme ‘Maritime jobs for future generations’.

The annual week-long campaign is organised by Seafarers UK, the charity that supports the maritime community to raise awareness of Britain’s dependence on seafarers and the job opportunities available both at sea and ashore.

A broad range of jobs within the maritime sectors will be promoted during the week, from the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, the UK’s commercial fishing industry and the Merchant Navy workboats.

Image courtesy of Ryan Paez –

“Seafarers Awareness Week is an important week in the calendar, aimed at supporting seafarers and the maritime communities,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime.

“Our sponsorship of Seafarers Awareness Week reflects our commitment to the wellbeing of seafarers around the globe, and the recent launch of Fleet Xpress is set to change life at sea forever.

“Seafarers will no longer feel isolated at sea with the connectivity they need, to keep up to date with friends and family back home, access the internet and watch the latest films, TV, news, and sporting events directly through their own devices.”

There will be a host of events taking place throughout the week, focussing on all aspects of life at sea; raising awareness of the invaluable role of seafarers and the future of life onboard, including:

Calendar dates

UK Chamber of Shipping – 20 June

The networking evening organised by the UK Chamber of Shipping will look at the fast-changing expectations of crew for ship-to-shore connectivity.

The keynote speaker is Drew Brandy, Inmarsat Maritime’s Senior Vice President, Market Strategy, who will explain how satellite communication has a profound impact on crew morale and is changing the tradition of a lonely life at sea by creating an instant and seamless connection between ship and shore.

The event, between 17:30-20:00 GMT, is at the UK Chamber of Shipping headquarters in London.

International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards – 24 June

Inmarsat is also sponsoring the 2016 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards, which recognise excellence in the provision of welfare services and facilities for seafarers.

Many of these services can provide a lifeline to seafarers when working away from home for long periods of time, and the awards showcase good practice in the industry and highlight the commitment and dedication shown by many.

The event is organised by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and takes place in Manilla.

Gerbrand Schalkwijk, Chief Sales Officer, Inmarsat Maritime will be speaking at the awards and highlighting our commitment to crew welfare through our innovative and new-generation services, Fleet Media and Fleet Xpress.

Day of the Seafarer – 25 June

The Day of the Seafarer was established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2010 with the objective of recognising the important role of seafarers. The annual event also raises awareness of life at sea, and engages support for seafarers’ welfare.

This year’s theme is ‘At Sea for All’ and not only celebrates the role of seafarers but also aims to let the world know how and why they are indispensable to everyone.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “This year, on June 25th, the Day of the Seafarer, we are once again asking people everywhere to show their appreciation for the seafarers that quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion”.

The importance of the connected seafarer

The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey from FutureNautics suggests that, on average, seafarers spend 7.4 months per year at sea. Having a communications line to the outside world to stay in touch when out of reach is crucial to maintain crew morale.

Image courtesy of Albert Veloria –

At a time when the average age of ship officers is falling, attracting and retaining highly qualified crew is becoming more important than ever – 73% surveyed said that their decision on which shipping companies to work for took into account the level of ship-shore connectivity.

Inmarsat has defined connectivity at sea for over 35 years. Over this time we have been responsible for bringing the most innovative technology to the maritime communications sector and today we continue to be committed not only to operational efficiency and safety at sea but also to crew welfare with our Fleet Xpress high-speed data service, marking a new era in maritime communications, and Fleet Media service, a multi-language, on-demand maritime entertainment solution that provides entertainment anytime, anywhere for crews across the world’s oceans.