The Founder of LSLC Maritime Business Forum expresses her vision for founding the Young Maritime Professionals and explains how it came about.

The London Shipping Law Centre was founded to advance multidisciplinary knowledge among maritime professionals and to facilitate business networking. However, despite its successful operation over many years, I observed that young maritime professionals were not participating in its events.  Having witnessed the energy and thirst of young people for learning whilst teaching them the law, I thought that something had to be done to encourage and facilitate their entry into a special group, operating as a branch of the LSLC in order to obtain the same benefits cost effectively. I felt they needed to feel more comfortable about exchanging their views; actively participating in events of their own creation; and managing their organisation in order to advance their knowledge, leadership skills, and cross-sector networking.

Although young maritime professionals are more exposed to many opportunities and further training in their places of work than previous generations were, the demands to meet their targets make it quite difficult for them to mix with professionals from other sectors. Globalisation of business has made shipping more sophisticated and it is not enough to know just the law. Broader knowledge and exposure to other professions related to shipping is increasingly essential. I felt it was paramount to create the right setting for the younger generation of shipping who will be the leaders of our industry in the future. That is why the Young Maritime Professionals (YMP)  was set up under the auspices of the LSLC. It has been received enthusiastically and is well supported by the LSLC corporate members.

My vision for the YMP is to see the young professionals flourish in their careers, work hard, explore their talents, become visible and have fun through networking. They have a duty to develop their skills so that they can take leadership roles in key maritime organisations to protect the interests and future of the shipping industry.

Having provided a platform for the YMP to develop their talents, I trust they will, in due course, assume key positions in the LSLC business, fostering the YMP for the next generation.

Dr Aleka Sheppard – Chairman – LSLC