The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) contains an important new compliance and enforcement component based on a flag State ship inspection and certification system, and port State control. It is essential that all countries with a maritime interest take steps to prepare for, and implement, their inspection obligations under the Convention. Well trained inspectors are crucial to ensuring better quality and consistency in national ship inspection systems worldwide.
In 2011 the ILO and its International Training Centre (ITC) in Turin launched the ILO Maritime Labour Academy, in order to provide a comprehensive range of training activities under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). The Academy covers a wide range of courses aimed at building capacities at national level, with regard to the preparation of the MLC, 2006, and at providing a unified approach to the Convention both in terms of interpretation and implementation. In fact, even though the MLC, 2006 leaves room for some flexibility at the national level, the ILO believes that it is important to provide a common understanding and a common pattern for implementation. In order to achieve these objectives the training activity is addressing all parties interested in the Convention, in the spirit of ILO tripartism, with a programme of five specialized courses, or “tracks”.
In 2012, in addition to the two-week “Train the trainers of maritime labour inspectors” course (MLC, 2006 -Track 1) that was established in 2009, four specialized workshops will be implemented: one is intended for Government legal counsel or others involved in the transposition of the MLC, 2006 into domestic legislation (MLC, 2006 – Track 2), a second one is for ships’ operators and officers (MLC, 2006 – Track 3), a third one is for the inspectors of seafarers’ organisations, namely the International Transport Federation (ITF) (MLC, 2006 – Track 4) and a fourth one is for the cruise industry (MLC, 2006 – Track 5). Each component has a set of specific objectives.
- Track 1 aims to strengthen the capacity of trainers to train maritime labour inspectors in the MLC, 2006 at national level and ensure better quality and consistency in inspection systems worldwide. This approach induces a multiplier effect, as the trained and certified trainers organise and run promotional and awareness raising activities on the MLC, 2006, and national or regional education programmes for maritime labour inspectors. Among the 176 participants trained in 2009 and 2010, 92 participants then held 179 awareness sessions and training activities in their own countries covering a total of 3,143 maritime labour inspectors.
- Track 2 is a 5-day workshop that intends to help governments that are willing to ratify the Convention to translate into national law the provisions of the MLC, 2006. The activity is focused on questions that may arise for personnel entrusted with implementing the MLC, 2006 in national legal systems. It will make use of model legal provisions and assumes a good knowledge of the Convention as well as relevant national legislation, but it will also provide an overview of the Convention and its requirements.
- Track 3 is a 3-day workshop that aims to provide a good level of understanding of the requirements of the Convention to the ships’ operators and officers and to those responsible for the application of the MLC, 2006 on board. The activity is focused on the MLC, 2006 requirements on board ship, particularly on the measures and documentation needed to ensure ongoing compliance with those requirements, as well as relevant aspects of flag State inspection and port State control, and the complaint procedures.
- Track 4 is a 5-day workshop focused on the on-board and on-shore complaint procedures to ensure the respect of seafarers’ rights. The course aims to provide the seafarers and the seafarers’ representatives with a good level of understanding of the requirements of the MLC, 2006.
- Track 5 is a 5-day workshop that aims to strengthen the capacity of the cruise industry to implement the MLC, 2006. It will identify the main objectives and key concepts of the Convention needed for sound implementation by the cruise industry.
The training activities offered by the ITC-ILO Maritime Labour Academy ensure the highest level of expertise and accuracy, as they are facilitated by a team of experts that were involved in the drafting, designing and adoption of the Convention in 2006 or have long experience in the training of maritime inspectors. The success and the effectiveness of this activity are confirmed by an in-depth on-line survey which was made at the beginning of 2011 by the ITC-ILO to assess the impact of the courses. The participants interviewed reported that the courses had a significant impact on both their own and their institutions’ performance. For the majority of the interviewees, the courses led to major improvements in their job performance and attendance of the course had greatly upgraded their professional competence.