The second Europe-Asia Maritime Summit met in Odessa, Ukraine in early June. Initiated by the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU), the meeting is a platform to promote Ukrainian seafarers and Ukraine to a wide range of potential employers. Ukraine is among the top five counties in the world supplying maritime labour, with 120,000 Ukrainian seafarers working on foreign ships and 12,000 maritime training graduates a year.
Oleg Grygoriuk, MTWTU first vice chair, noted that the first Summit in 2018 resulted in the creation of 400 new work places for Ukrainian seafarers, highlighting their role in the world labour market.
This year’s Summit was attended by representatives of ITF affiliates from Japan, Singapore, Germany, Norway, Philippines and India, shipowners from Norway, Netherlands and Japan, Ukraine government, maritime and education authorities and seafarers’ recruitment and placement agencies, as well as Ukrainian seafarers themselves.
Participants were told that, despite their contribution to the global maritime workforce, and the growing demand for Ukrainian officers, Ukrainian ratings were still under-represented in many flag-state ships, and had much to offer in terms of their training and professionalism.
Addressing the Summit, ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton praised the role of the MTWTU in becoming “a modern social services provider, a labour rights guarantor, which worthily does everything to increase the number of workplaces for Ukrainian seafarers in the world industry”.