06 JAN 2020
Maritime training reached a pivotal point in 2019 by harnessing the advantages that new technology has to offer. Online training has been heralded in the media as the new silver bullet solution especially regarding the engagement of millennials who have grown up with new technology.
Whilst we, at Stream Marine Training (SMT), believe that e-Learning does have its place, nothing beats live practical experiences for better knowledge retention as studies have shown that people learn more by performing tasks rather than passively sitting in a classroom or in front of a monitor.
This approach has been vindicated by the fact that we have achieved our highest ever revenue this year and now employ over 25 full time staff.
Our size means that we can be forward thinking and flexible enough to introduce new courses and initiatives in a relatively short time frame, and one example of this was the launch of our first ever polar code course in the U.K. which is mandatory for vessels sailing into Arctic waters. We also successfully introduced courses for service on ships using fuels covered by the IGF Code, becoming the market leader in the U.K. by offering basic and advanced level options.
Around three years ago SMT identified that LNG would be an important fuel in the run up to the sulfur cap regulations and so designed and developed courses to train crews on how to handle LNG as a fuel. This has proved to be the right choice with 15 companies, made up of around 20 different nationalities, having taken the STCW approved courses, including the crew of the first LNG powered cruise ship.
This year SMT also launched the first hydrogen duel fuel training course in the U.K. and introduced its first ever deck and engine cadetship programs in partnership with the city of Glasgow college.
The trends for 2020 will see a large push towards seafarer mental health and well-being and how to best deal with these issues. With the sulfur cap coming into force on January 1, there will also be an upsurge in training on handling these new fuels safely and teaching crew how to use the increasing amount of new technology that is appearing on ships to help with operational efficiency.
Although our courses focus very much on the practical elements of training to help seafarers better retain knowledge, we also ensure that there is a blended learning approach, where possible, to include the best elements of classroom, online and practical experience.
Studies and questionnaires have proved that properly trained crew feel valued and will make fewer mistakes leading to less accidents, so shipowners will benefit from more efficiently managed vessels with less down-time.