Reflecting on attending LISW19 by Cadet Harry Wardell

After London International Shipping Week 2019, we caught up with Cadet Harry Wardell on his first experience of attending the event.

How did you find the events across the week?

Myself and a few other V.Ships Cadets were lucky enough to attend events as part of the London International Shipping Week, from the 9th to the 13th September. Many events took place throughout the whole week, and with the support of our Cadet Manager, Captain Lee Clarke, we managed to attend some key Conferences. This was such a great opportunity for all of us young seafarers to really get involved with the Maritime Industry, and meet some of its key stakeholders.

The first event I attended was a Mental Health and Wellness Awareness Conference in the Inmarsat building in London. Being involved, and being able to contribute to the discussion was extremely interesting, especially as this is such an important problem that is affecting all industries, and especially seafarers. There were so many great points raised by the audience, and the whole panel shared very good insights and great examples of positive actions in place to ensure crew welfare and wellbeing. It was also interesting to see how new technologies can support such a key topic.

What was the highlight for you?

The highlight of the week, for me, was being invited to the headlining conference. With inspiring speeches during the conference, this was an amazing event for me to attend, and a great opportunity to meet key stakeholders that are shaping the future of the shipping industry.

This was good for me to listen to discussions around challenges faced by the Maritime Industry and how these are being addressed, as well as gaining a better understanding on what the future of shipping will look like. I also had the honour to be invited to the premier shipping event in the Grosvenor Hotel. At the Gala Dinner I got to meet so many fantastic people that play very important parts in the Maritime Industry. One of the many key figures of the shipping industry I got to meet was the CEO of V.Group, Graham Westgarth, which was one of the highlight of the event to me.

What did you learn during the week?

Attending LISW was a great experience for me, and I learnt so much about the Maritime Industry. There are so many underlying issues that people have to face every day which most people are unaware of. The LISW gave the perfect platform to raise these issues and discuss with all relevant parties in order to find suitable solutions for the industry and its people. I am so glad I was given this opportunity, so I can see for myself how the world of shipping is changing and what the future holds for us young seafarers.

What would you do differently in the industry now you have listened to the experts?

I had so many questions I wanted to ask, and I will keep a close eye on how the industry is evolving whilst I complete my cadetship. It would be good to see some of the key decision-makers come and visit the colleges to engage with young people, who are ultimately the future of the industry. I believe there would be some really interesting points raised and we could then share our own personal experiences. I would like to thank everyone at V.Group, The UK Chamber of Shipping and Capt. Lee Clarke for allowing me to take part in such a great event.