Digital training proposed to help plug seafarer shortage

Ship managers and operators facing a potential seafarer shortage because of Covid-19 can increase their talent pipeline by outsourcing digital maritime training to a specialist says Nigel Cleave, Senior Advisor at OneLearn Global.

Ship managers and operators facing a potential seafarer shortage because of Covid-19 can increase their talent pipeline by outsourcing digital maritime training to a specialist. Nigel Cleave, Senior Advisor at OneLearn Global, the digital eLearning maritime training provider, said his company was available to help shipping companies train existing and develop new mariners amid the crew change crisis.

“The shipping industry has been rocked by several challenges in recent years, not least the global pandemic,” he said following the release of the ‘Alllianz Safety and Shipping Review 2021’, which warns of long-term consequences for the maritime sector. “Sourcing skilled seafarers is difficult right now and it could get harder as new generations entering the profession are struggling to get on-the-job experience because they can’t board ships. That is all down to Covid-19. However, companies dealing with myriad issues such as coronavirus, crew change, decarbonisation and digitalisation can still provide their crew members with top-class training and development by appointing a specialist such as OneLearn Global.”

Cleave added that OneLearn Global offers a range of courses – both for the experienced and relatively new seafarer – that cover everything from preparing a vessel and crew for Covid-19 to fire safety, first aid, security and crowd management, to name just a few. “The attraction of digital eLearning courses like ours is they can be performed from anywhere, at any time, in the world, both online as well as offline,” he said. “Training programmes that are powered by our enormously effective state-of-the-art learning management system give mariners the complete freedom to choose how and when they spend time developing their knowledge or attributes. Furthermore, the course length of 15–20 minutes – designed with millennials and Gen Z in mind – is proving incredibly popular and a real game-changer with both learners and our customers.”

Investing in maritime training is vital to the industry’s future prosperity, according to Allianz’s 2021 shipping review. Captain Andrew Kinsey, Senior Marine Risk Consultant at Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality, said that with hundreds of thousands of crew members stuck on vessels or working extended contracts, he had “serious concerns” for the next generation of seafarers. “The situation with Covid-19 means that we are not training and developing them [seafarers], while the sector may struggle to attract new blood due to current working conditions.”

The Allianz report added that with economies and international trade expected to rebound post-Covid, demand for mentally and physically exhausted crew members will rise. “With so many crew members stuck on board vessels there are serious concerns for the next generation of seafarers,” the report said. “Covid-19 is impacting training and development… any shortage could impact the surge in demand for shipping as the economy and international trade rebounds.”

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