South Korea’s impending launch of its crewless ship in 2021, and cloud adoption to improve business operations stress the need to be skilled in technology
Last October, Samsung Heavy Industries’ successful trial of its crewless ship resulted in the announcement of deploying the vessel in 2021. A recent survey by Australia’s Telstra involving 120 business leaders revealed majority of the respondents concurred cloud is the only option to moving forward to heighten business efficiency.
En route to a new maritime world
With the push to digitise business, the Singapore government has launched a variety of initiatives and funding to facilitate companies’ migration from conventional practices. The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has also launched short courses for individuals within and outside of the maritime industry – with emphasis on IT, data analytics, green technology with maritime focus, along with other soft skills courses.
With ships becoming more advanced with greater connectivity, integrated controls and power management, vessels will be new environments utilising web-based application tracking systems, crewing systems and software to operate.
This is not a blanket notion that technologically-inclined seafarers will replace the veterans. However, incorporating technology into existing veterans’ skillsets will produce a new generation of seafarers. They can operate more efficiently through cloud-based maritime recruitment and crewing system – even to the extent of taking pre-emptive measures from referencing data analysis.
The skills gap between different generations of seafarers has been existent through the years. Hence, it might be a tall order for the veterans to keep up with the rapid evolution of maritime technology. This gap can be narrowed with customised training for different generations of seafarers. An example might be retraining for certain disciplines such as working with LNG fuels using advanced equipment such as simulators.
All generations of seafarers must embrace the differences amongst fellow crew. Veterans might be highly-skilled in their engineering fields; while the newer generations be more IT-inclined. Amalgamating both skillsets is a doorway to numerous opportunities such as constructing the next generation of offshore installations for the international oil and gas industry or managing remotely operated vehicles – charting the sea and oceans and laying telecommunications cables.
Training for seafarer jobs should be changing in the same way as it has in every other industry, specifically with a focus on fundamentals such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects. Shipowners and individuals can look to Marine Online’s extensive network of training providers for upskilling programmes to ready themselves for digitised maritime industry.