Contributing to an attractive, smart, and sustainable working environment in shipping

Increasing the sustainability and attractiveness of the maritime profession has been a goal of the EU for many years now. Safe, social and sustainable quality shipping is also a key priority for ETF and ECSA and has been part of their work programme of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for maritime transport for several years now.

This joint project puts some of those social partners’ commitments in action. As the issue of making working in shipping attractive and sustainable is very complex and needs to be tackled in different ways, the project itself also reflects that reality and includes two pillars.


Pillar 1 – Supporting the work of the joint ECSA-ETF working group on Health and Safety on board

Project’s first pillar has three elements to it: development of guidelines on the provision and appropriate use of internet access onboard, a research report on the impact of increased use of digitalisation onboard ships, and the translation of international guidelines to shipping companies on eliminating workplace harassment and bullying.

Pillar 2 – Enhanced participation of women in European shipping – implementing the ECSA/ETF declaration of intention

Project’s second pillar will consist of the implementation of the priority actions identified in the joint declaration of intention from 2018.


The two pillars were developed in light of the need to attract more youngsters to the industry, promote the career paths involving movements from sea to shore based jobs within the maritime industry and promote opportunities for women at sea. Therefore, the project will at the same time include work on improvement of shipboard working and living conditions, and develop awareness-raising to the general public about the existing employment opportunities.


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International Day for Women in Maritime 2023

The ETF is working to address the current gender imbalance in the maritime, is promoting the role of women in the maritime industry as well as gender diversity and equality and is fighting gender stereotypes and gender discrimination.

18 May 2023

WESS Project in a nutshell

As the EU Social Partners, ETF and ECSA have worked closely together for over two years under the joint WESS project for an attractive, smart and sustainable working environment in the shipping sector.

10 Jan 2023

For a safer and better future in seafaring

The shipping industry needs more diversity and inclusion, decent working conditions, and more robust career prospects with meaning and value. Those working in this field are responsible for making this profession more attractive.

10 Jan 2023

ETF-ECSA: EU shipping needs to attract and retain more women

On International Women’s Day, ECSA and ETF continue to advocate the enhanced participation of women in European shipping. As part of the WESS project, they are launching a survey that will help them determine the current state of women’s employment in the sector and assess women seafarers’ needs, a first step of an EU-funded project to increase women’s participation in the shipping industry.

Press Release
8 Mar 2021