21 Nov


UK cadets are very different from their global counterparts – Sailors’ Society conference reveals

21 Nov, 2023

The first conference for UK cadets has revealed some stark contrasts with their fellow Gen Z seafarers across the globe.

Sailors’ Society held the ground-breaking virtual event as part of their global 2023 Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conferences, which also saw events for cadets in North and South East Asia and Africa.

More than 4,000 cadets attended these events and polls taken during the conferences, on everything from the cadets’ motivation for a career at sea to their views on diversity, revealed that cadets from UK schools had very different views to those training elsewhere in the world.

Unlike cadets from Indian and African continents and the Pacific, UK cadets were not concerned about securing a job post-graduation. And despite 86 per cent of North Asian cadets revealing they had yet to have their first experience of seafaring, it was the UK cadets that were unique in saying their biggest concern was not being able to cope with life at sea.

The conferences, now in their third year, also revealed that a greater percentage of UK cadets saw their time at sea lasting just five years compared to cadets elsewhere who overwhelmingly saw this as a long-term career.

Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, said: “We have designed these events to offer a unique opportunity to equip cadets for their future careers.

“We’ve brought together top industry experts to give a real insight into the realities of life at sea and we’ve given participants the tools they need to look after their own mental and physical health.

"But these events also give a voice to these young people, allowing them to speak to the industry they are about to join.

“Sailors' Society's approach to hosting conferences across diverse regions not only allows for a deep dive into local trends but also contributes to a holistic view of wellbeing, mental health and maritime education and training for our new generation of seafarers.”

The full data from the four conferences along with analysis from industry experts will be published in the Society’s 2023-4 cadet report due out in the Spring of 2024.

The UK Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conference was sponsored by Inmarsat and Trinity House, the TK Foundation sponsored the Africa conference and joined with Inmarsat to sponsor the South East Asia event, and the North Asia conference was sponsored by North Standard and Seaspan.

Conference speakers included Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General, InterManager, Capt. Tushar Pradhan, General Secretary, Maritime Union of India, Theresa Williams, Africa's first female marine pilot, Marlon R. Roño, Director, Joint Manning Group (JMG) and Filipino Association of Mariners Employment (FAME) Executive Chair, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, Mariana Noceti, from the Women in Maritime Programme at the IMO and Heidi Heseltine, founder of the Diversity Study Group.

The virtual platform was sponsored by FrontM and the diversity section of the programme by Seaspan.

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