Big Changes Ahead for Maritime Training

The introduction of new digital technologies has had a great impact on all industries worldwide - with maritime being no exception. The skills and technologies that seafarers need are becoming more and more complex, which has meant that we need to reconsider if today’s training for yacht crew is fit for purpose and, if not, how it needs to be changed.

Last week, two of our PYA Representatives attended the ‘Rethinking Maritime Training’ Seminar, hosted by The Nautical Institute and The International Association of Maritime Institutions at HQS Wellington in London. We were the only organisation representing the voice and interests of yacht crew worldwide and ensured that any changes made in maritime training are practical, relevant and beneficial to yacht crew in the way they are applied and how they affect the structure of Continuous Professional Development.

Image: Andy Crawford, PYA CEO (Left), Valia Charontaki, PYA SRB Manager (Right).

The event brought together some of the industry’s leading experts in education and training to discuss issues that will shape the industry over the coming years. Speakers included Guy Platten, CEO of The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Colin McMurray, Chairman of The International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI) and Captain John Lloyd FNI, CEO of The Nautical Institute (NI), amongst many others. 

Key to the discussion was the advancement in technology and how this is influencing the training and skills that are required by yacht crew. The MCA and wider training providers are well aware that change is required to ensure the maritime workforce has skills that are fit for purpose and future proof.

As a first step, the MCA will be distributing a questionnaire, followed by a workgroup, to get the input and feedback from seafarers on the changes that are required to keep up to date with the advancements in technology.

Brian Johnson, CEO of the MCA, noted that the STCW training must not represent a limit to basic training. It is, actually, only the bare minimum skills set needed to work successfully onboard a vessel. It is not a guarantee of quality nor should be a limitation for highly-skilled crew. He also noted that we should be ‘rethinking’ basic training and continuous professional development so that seafarers are armed with critical thought, professional knowledge and soft-core skills in today’s digitally-evolving landscape.

Due to the sizeable effect changes to training will have on the industry and our members, the PYA intends to follow-up on this discussion in the coming months.