The ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the Marine Transport Workers Union of Ukraine (MTWTU) and Odesa Maritime Academy are delighted to announce the launch of a new initiative to help Ukrainian cadets complete their studies and look to the future.

As part of this joint project, the Trust will pay the cost of training for 32 NU “OMA” cadets, MTWTU-members, without the financial means to do it alone. The project includes debt repayment for the 2021-2022 academic year, as well as payment for the coming year. Orphans, children of conscripted seafarers, and children from low-income families are among the beneficiaries of the project.

For many years, Ukraine has held a leading position training maritime personnel for the international labor market, with some of the best shipping companies recruiting Ukrainian cadets and training young and promising seafarers to work on their ships.

Eight months ago, the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to a significant crisis in all areas, including the maritime industry, which had only recently started to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to industry experts, the war, and subsequent martial law in Ukraine has, over the last 8 months, caused a new crisis of crew changes and a sharp shortage of personnel in the international maritime labor market. In addition, the future of cadets in maritime schools is under threat. The Trust, along with MTWTU are aiming, as far as possible, to prevent and resolve these negative consequences of the current situation in the maritime sector.

We have been cooperating with the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine for many years. It is very important for us that our colleagues and friends at this difficult time for all Ukrainians made a decision to implement such an important and timely project.

Currently, several thousand students and cadets study at our university. About half of them study at the expense of the state budget, the rest pay for their education, accommodation and meals at the university. With the beginning of the military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, many Ukrainian families lost not only their income, but also their housing and property.

The project being implemented by ITF Seafarers’ Trust will allow 32 of our cadets who are in a difficult situation not only to eliminate the existing debts for last year’s tuition fees, but also to continue their studies at the university with payment from the project’s funds. The relevant agreement was signed by the parties on November 2, 2022.

On behalf of the National University «Odessa Maritime Academy», I would like to express my gratitude to Katie Higginbottom, the Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, and Oleg Grygoriuk, the Chairman of the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine, for the support provided to our cadets.