Access to shore-based welfare facilities is a key component of the wider welfare strategy under Regulation 4.4 of the MLC. Surveys conducted by the Trust and other maritime funding and welfare organisations reveal that access to a reliable internet connection is a key welfare priority and concern for seafarers. In response to this demand, the Seafarers’ Trust has busily been developing an adaptable and dynamic response to this welfare need in conjunction with our successful Shore Leave app and On-board Online initiative.
Now at a stage in development to publicly announce our plans, the Portable Communication Pods Pilot Project is just what it sounds like; portable 20ft container boxes providing seafarers with access to Wi-Fi, tablet consoles and furniture to rest. As the centres will be powered by solar panels, the centres will be both energy efficient and viable in areas lacking in existing infrastructure (where possible, the centres can also be connected to a mains power supply).
As proud funders of a countless number of Seafarer Centres throughout the world, the Seafarers’ Trust remains committed to the valuable work they undertake in providing seafarers with a home away from home. The PCP Pilot Project will aim to compliment this asset and not replace it by specifically targeting sites lacking in existing service provision. At the Trust we see a future where these pods will be of use to both seafarers and you the stakeholders by providing a space for welfare providers to meet with maritime workers or conduct training utilising the inbuilt consoles.
We have been working with welfare providers, trade unions, and port authorities to identify opportunities to pilot the first 5 Pods in ports around the world and will be reporting back next year on the success of the project in bringing much needed welfare facilities to seafarers.