“Map” of Educational and Training Concepts

This deliverable attempts to “map” maritime education and training (MET) concepts in order to better understand the existing possibilities for education within the maritime industry, and to show the opportunities offered by MET for keeping pace with the trends within the maritime industry. Furthermore, the aim of this report is to link the current industry trends and needs to the currently available educational and training concepts and methods.

Because of the unique strengths of seafarers (combination of specific knowledge, skills, and experiences), they are potential future employees for the maritime industry on shore. The MET courses and programs which are being offered should therefore not be limited to developing skills and competences which a seafarer needs during his seagoing career. The main problems seafarers are facing are the lack of formal education in management and business, limited access to recruiting events and the competition they are facing from university graduates on shore. Furthermore, many seafarers do not have the opportunity to work and learn at the same time.

Many seafarers indicated that STCW ‘freshen up’ courses are not providing them with the required professional development opportunities. Often these courses are seen as purely focused on money making for the educational provider or training centres, and participants are never compensated for lost leave time when attending training. From the online explorative study it can be seen that several MET institutions provide CPD programs or online learning systems in an attempt to address the seafarers’ need for more advanced and easily accessible knowledge or skills alongside their jobs.

High quality vocational training (partly instructor-led) in combination with well-developed e-training modules (which can be accessed by the learner at any point in time) is expected to be the most promising approach for MET which addresses the needs of both maritime students and seafarers, as well as the needs of the maritime industry. The more traditional vocational training regarding safety guidelines and navigation has to be accompanied by more modern vocational training involving simulators or computer based training. The e-training modules, video lectures, or web seminars are in this scenario more focused on non-vocational education, mainly for acquiring background knowledge, knowledge development, or for gaining an academic career.

Incorporating e-learning and blended learning methods into MET will provide opportunities to make MET more effective and more attractive. It will reduce the time seafarers will have to spend in classrooms, without missing out on the strengths of traditional face-to-face learning (F2F). E-learning will increase the possibility of seafarers to learn during their time on board, and will create space for them to discuss and learn from other participants without having to be in a classroom with them. Furthermore, it will allow (future) seafarers and other employees in the maritime industry to further develop their knowledge and skills, in addition to their basic MET primarily based on STCW requirements, and to have these newly acquired knowledge and skills formally recognised as part of their professional development.

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