17 Jan 2024
by Martin Shaw

It’s All About The Members!

Following on from my last blog about becoming a role model for younger people to join the maritime industry I now have my very own opportunity in my, now, three-month-old granddaughter. I have told her parents she is going to be a marine engineer. It has been suggested though that I may have jumped the gun in buying a Lego container ship for Xmas. More to come from the council on early career professionals.  

What else is on my mind at the moment? Seafarers are at the top of the list. As many around the world get ready to celebrate a variety of festivals and the end of the year seafarers are out on the ocean continuing to bring us the goods that we need to survive.  Their life is not made any easier by happenings in the Red Sea at present. 

Seafarers have always been important to IMarEST – I was lucky enough to be a member from my Cadet days.  There are many IMarEST members at sea and one thing we have been thinking about is how we better connect with and serve and represent them. 

So, as we enter the New Year, we are looking at setting up we are researching how to better gain live input into what we need to do to better support seafarers.   The plan is to make sure there is more representation of seafarers on the council and that a louder voice is heard. 

In November we had a very fruitful and busy Council meeting during which we discussed the importance of volunteers. The IMarEST is a membership organisation, and we always need to remember that members have choices; one is not to be a member, and another is to volunteer and contribute to the IMarEST and indeed the industries we work in. Our branches are run by volunteers. The branches are our local presence around the world and are our face to members. Our SIGs are also volunteer organisations. In some of the SIG work I am still engaged in I see IMarEST members attending IMO and speaking on important safety issues including working alongside another 15 organisations on things like Enclosed Space Safety.   There is no other organisation that fields as many volunteers at meetings. Equally, there is no other organisation that encourages that access to an Inter-Governmental Organisation. So, if you want to be involved then join a SIG or even create a SIG! If you are not yet a member join us and get involved.

Volunteers deserve our thanks, and we always need to remember that without our members we are nothing.  

We have set up a branch committee of the council to ensure that we have representation from the branches on the council. The TLB has been reconfigured by including the SIG Chairs and this also brings these important volunteer groups closely in touch with the council. 

Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a successful, prosperous and above all peaceful 2024.