The ITF Seafarers' Trust and the World Maritime University have announced a new training programme designed to equip maritime professionals with key skills and knowledge to support the welfare of seafarers.
The Maritime Welfare (MARI-WEL) Professional Development Programme was launched on 25 June 2018 in honour of the Day of the Seafarer, which focused on 'Seafarers' wellbeing'.
Created in partnership by the ITF Seafarers' Trust and the World Maritime University, MARI-WEL is the first programme of its kind to deliver a comprehensive overview of the topics and issues that relate to seafarer welfare.
MARI-WEL will be delivered as a distance learning course via an innovative online portal consisting of a series of videos, lectures, and activities – enabling participants to follow the programme from anywhere in the world. Covering three separate modules, the programme provides participants with flexibility to follow the course at their own speed, and offline if need be.
Delivered by world-leading experts in the field of seafarer rights, regulations, and welfare issues, the three modules cover the following areas:
- Module 1: international regulations, conventions, codes, and seafarers' rights
- Module 2: psycho-social and occupational health relating to seafarers
- Module 3: crew and resource management and land-based seafarer welfare
MARI-WEL is designed to meet the needs of anyone who works with or interacts with seafarers, both onboard and onshore. This includes ship management companies, crewing agencies, port chaplains, and welfare providers.
The idea for the course originated with the ITF Seafarers' Trust, a UK charity working internationally to advance the wellbeing of seafarers, and their families worldwide. Trust chair Dave Heindel commented: 'Seafarers' welfare is a critical issue for every organisation in the shipping industry and should be treated as an essential element of the professional training and development for anyone who works with seafarers.
The purpose of MARI-WEL is to set a new professional standard that will increase the level of awareness of welfare issues across the industry: 'We anticipate that MARI-WEL will become the gold standard for maritime welfare training and encourage every shipping professional that works with seafarers to look at how the comprehensive programme can benefit them and their organisation.'
World Maritime University president Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry added: 'MARI-WEL is the first programme of its kind to take such a comprehensive look at seafarers' welfare. It is an important step in supporting the work of the IMO, the International Labour Organisation, the ITF Seafarers' Trust and all other stakeholders focused on the welfare of seafarers. The World Maritime University has a reputation for delivering high-quality distance learning programmes, and we are pleased to join with our long-standing partners, the ITF Seafarers' Trust, on the ground-breaking MARI-WEL programme that will have a positive impact on the well-being of seafarers worldwide.'
The first MARI-WEL programme will commence on 1 August. A limited number of scholarships will be available as well as potential discounts for multiple participants from the same organisation and/or applicants from smaller welfare organisations and charities.