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UK seafarers need better training and information to make it ashore

Posted on: 19 October 2016

UK seafarers and on-shore employers must find ways to ensure a smooth and a successful transition to life after the sea through better training, assistance and information dispensation, according to a new report.

The Ship to Shore: what’s missing for the seafarer? report found that many seafarers held unrealistic assumptions about compensation, working hours and commuting attached to jobs ashore.

It recommended that seafarer skills should be better developed before returning to shore, including advice and assistance on how they can receive more help in that transition.

The Lord Mayor of London, Lord Mountevans, noted that the UK maritime industry shared a common concern regarding the retention of seafarer expertise, and it was united in its determination to act.

Shipping recruitment firm Spinnaker Global chairman Phil Parry addressed the differences between the nature of work at sea and on shore and how that affects seafarers.

“The seafarer lives in a quasi militaristic hierarchical environment where leadership is command and control in nature. That style does not transfer ashore,” he said.

As a result of this discrepancy, seafarers need assistance in three areas to better secure a job, Mr Parry argued. The first is self-awareness about their own effect on other people through their behaviour. The second is knowledge acquisition of various matters such as law, commerce and insurance. Third, they need to understand the variety of the industry’s jobs and their requirements.

A number of recommendations on seafarer training were tabled by attendees at the launch.

Information about post-sea employment should be provided to seafarers at a younger age, and that information should be easily accessible and available.

Attendees also argued that shore-based employers had unrealistic expectations of seafarer skills, such as computer skills and commercial awareness.

Employers could help fill the commercial skills gap by providing commercial training and professional development support throughout their career offshore. Seafarers could contribute financially to this training package, it was suggested.

The report was commissioned by a number of organisations including Maritime London, Trinity House, Nautilus International, the Merchant Navy Training Board and the Marine Society and Sea Cadets.

It was commissioned as part of a series of recommendations by the Department for Transport’s 2015 Maritime Growth Study. The study highlighted the need for the identification and prioritisation of the key skill issues facing the UK maritime sector.

Ship to Shore: what’s missing for the seafarer? tabled feedback from 155 UK maritime entities ranging from law firms and P&I clubs to shipmanagement companies and class societies.

Source: Lloyd’s List
Tuesday 18 October 2016 by Anastassios Adamopoulos


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