We have been talking about seafarers and recently we had a post on past, present and future seafarers,(if you have not read through, please do) where I have described the transition of the seafarers and their adopting the new ways of life and also how their selection criteria itself has changed in the centuries of Merchant Navy.
Now it is evident that seafarer’s lives are going to start changing ever faster and the only way to keep up, is by training continuously! Another important aspect of training is that the method of training itself is changing and seafarers need to adapt to that as well.
The present day training are mostly confined to class rooms and few practical training. The training on computer is on a very nascent stage and this is going to be the mainstay of the future training of seafarers!
The next generation of seafarers are very tech savvy and literally born with automation, communication and digitization and are very comfortable training in new methods compared to the present generation of seafarers who are not tuned to. For E.g. when GMDSS was introduced long time back, the then senior masters failed the tests more than the junior officers view there was a major change in technology and the juniors were more adept in understanding and using the simulator
Here we discuss few points on the main areas of training what seafarers will start wanting and what are the new techniques by which, the future seafarers would be trained!
1) Simulators- Simulators have been used for training for quite some time mostly for navigation, Engine room and cargo operations, with the simulators capable of simulating various scenarios for the Bridge, Engine room and cargo control room respective. However, the simulators are expected to increase in both sophistication and the number of areas of the ships where it can be used to train seafarers.
2) Gamification of training: This is a concept where the training is made like a Game on a computer. The student or the player is given tasks to complete and every achievement is rewarded by points to make the training/game more interactive and interesting.
3) Method of training and learning is presently tested by measuring how much you are able to retain after a raining, meaning how much you know of the concept or rules /regulations you are able to reproduce and the end of the training. However, the future of testing would be to test how well you are able to apply what you have learnt by any of the methods above.
4) Individual specific training: The future of training is not a class room where one is really not sure of how much the trainee has actually grasped or even when the instructor knows that the candidate may not have understood the concept-he is restricted by the test which is usually a general set of questions and does not depend on the candidate. This will to change, in the sense that the training and tests wold be individual based as the grasping power of all individuals are different and you cannot have a one size fits all method of training.
5) Skill development: With increasing technology, digitalisation and automation, the seafarer’s roles onboard are going to change from operating the ship to operating the system that operates the ship! As the role changes, so will be the skills required. Hence the focus of training would be to impart skills development in operating the various machineries, equipments and instruments.
6) The training infrastructure: This will undergo a drastic and radical change which will be required in line with the system onboard. As the technology onboard increases, so will be the infrastructure in the institutes as the trainees will have to be trained as per the requirements on board vessels. Example: ECDIS training-is actually imparted by the manufacturers through the institutes with infrastructure and training methods approved by the manufacturer.
7) Onboard training: With Gamification and computer based training taking more prominence onboard training will be more in place, may be the actual equipment will have a training mode where the seafarers can be trained by simulating situation and demanding actions from seafarers as part on the onboard, hands on training.
8) STEM competences-With more and more technology onboard, the basic education requirements will lean more towards Science, technology, engineering and Maths (STEM), so may the incumbents will already need to be familiar with STEM if they have to succeed in a career at sea. May be the entry criteria will be modified as per the requirements in a gradual but continuous manner as has always been the trend in the maritime industry or for that matter any industry.
9) Critical thinking: AS technology improve soar, seafarers onboard would be required to develop more critical thinking-what is critical thinking? It’s nothing but evaluation of the scenario based on the facts present and deciding the action rather than using a traditional method, even though it may not suit the situation. The rate at which technology improvements take place, traditional methods of problem identification and solving may not always work.
10) Soft skills: Last but not the least, soft skills development is going to be much more required with fewer souls onboard, a seafarers should be able to introspect and understand his strengths,weakness,having role awareness-meaning what is expected of him in the role he is playing onboard and how is he going to perform the same which might be taught by personal profiling analysis presently done partly by psychometric tests, by discussions and finally by having a new mind-set before going on a ship.
In summarising, the life of a seafarer will be changing for sure and the new entrants would automatically be developed in the new way.t is hence important for the present generation of seafarers to adopt themselves by getting the appropriate training and having the revised and renewed mind-set for the New world!!
We will meet in our next topic of discussion, till then Keep training!!and UPSKILL
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