Breaking the Waves of Ageing Discrimination in Maritime: Embracing Age Diversity for a Thriving Industry


The maritime industry, known for its global significance and challenging work environment, must confront the issue of ageing discrimination affecting both young and old professionals. Age diversity within the maritime sector brings a wealth of experience, adaptability, and fresh perspectives. However, biases and stereotypes often lead to the undervaluation of both young and older employees, hampering individual growth and hindering the industry’s overall progress. In this article, we will explore the impact of ageing discrimination on young and old employees in the maritime sector and propose strategies to foster an inclusive work culture that embraces the strengths of employees of all ages.

Ageing Discrimination Against Young Maritime Professionals

Limited Job Opportunities: Young maritime professionals often face challenges in securing job opportunities due to the perception that experience is a significant factor in their effectiveness.

Prejudiced Competency Assessment: Despite possessing relevant qualifications and technical skills, younger workers may face doubts about their capabilities based on age-related biases.

Underrepresentation in Leadership Roles: Discrimination might hinder young professionals from advancing into leadership positions, disregarding their potential to contribute to the industry’s growth and innovation.

Stifled Innovation: The reluctance to accept ideas from younger workers can hinder the industry’s ability to embrace technological advancements and new approaches.

Ageing Discrimination Against Older Maritime Professionals

Barriers to Promotion: Despite their vast experience, older maritime professionals might encounter age discrimination when seeking promotions, leading to stagnation in their careers.

Technological Adaptability Stereotypes: Older workers may be unfairly associated with lower technological adaptability, hindering their opportunities to contribute to the industry’s digital transformation.

Physical Demands Preconceptions: Age-related stereotypes may lead to the misconception that older professionals are unable to meet the physical demands of certain maritime roles.

Limited Training and Professional Development: Discrimination may lead to fewer opportunities for older professionals to access training and development programs, impeding their skills enhancement.

The Impact on the Maritime Industry

Talent Drain: Ageing discrimination contributes to a loss of valuable talent from both young and older professionals, weakening the industry’s ability to attract and retain skilled workers.

Reduced Productivity: A work environment tainted by discrimination negatively affects employee morale, leading to decreased productivity and efficiency.

Slower Innovation and Growth: The maritime sector’s progress relies on innovation, which is stifled when diverse perspectives from both young and old professionals are not adequately valued.

Promoting Age Diversity and Inclusion

Education and Awareness: Conduct workshops and training sessions to sensitize employees and employers about the impact of age discrimination and promote age diversity.

Mentorship Programs: Encourage cross-generational mentorship initiatives to foster knowledge sharing and skill development between experienced and young professionals.

Equal Access to Opportunities: Implement unbiased hiring, promotion, and training practices that prioritize skills, qualifications, and experience over age-related factors.

Embrace Technology and Training: Provide opportunities for both young and older professionals to access technological training, ensuring their competencies remain up-to-date.


Ageing discrimination within the maritime industry affects professionals at different stages of their careers, stifling growth and hindering the sector’s progress as a whole. To thrive in an ever-changing global landscape, the maritime industry must foster a work culture that embraces age diversity, recognizing the immense value that both young and older professionals bring. By combatting ageism and promoting inclusivity, the maritime industry can unlock the full potential of its workforce, driving innovation, productivity, and long-term success. Embracing age diversity is not just a moral imperative but a strategic decision to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the maritime sector.

Over the past decade, the development of online courses has witnessed remarkable growth, catering all participants, no matter the age, alike.

World Maritime Academy primarily focuses on providing flexible learning options in maritime for adults seeking to enhance their skills or pursue core shipping knowledge while balancing work and family commitments.

The adaptability and convenience of online learning have made it an attractive option for older individuals seeking to pursue lifelong learning and career advancements, as well as younger generations looking to complement their traditional education with self-paced, accessible courses. This inclusivity has transformed the educational landscape, fostering a thriving ecosystem where both young and old learners can embrace online courses as a means of achieving their professional goals.

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ICS Guidelines for Shipowners