Education and training is crucial for building and developing sustainable careers. Without learning, there can be no growth, either for individuals, companies or industries alike. Yet there are challenges associating with developing skills and knowledge, particularly when struggling to balance an expanding workload. Seafarers often feel pressured to leave their jobs at sea earlier than planned in order to try and move up the career ladder, sometimes making the decision to leave the sector altogether. When experience and skill-sets are lost in this way, it poses a real problem for the industry. Additionally, many employers are keen to utilise the experience of their sea-going staff in shore-based management positions, but are faced with the challenge that many lack the required knowledge.
Marine training initiatives such as IMarEST’s Marine Learning Alliance are devising new blended, distance e-learning solutions to address this issue, allowing marine professionals to learn whilst they earn. This technology allows seafarers to stay at sea longer, and continue to develop the skills they need to make the next career step and remain in the maritime profession. Blended e-learning combines online and traditional face-to-face class activities, thereby granting students access to both the conveniences of remote learning and the social and instructional interactions that may not lend themselves to online delivery. Here are six ways technological solutions and blended learning models are improving maritime education
With the ability to download course and training materials from an online database, content can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
Having a personal tutor boosts learning as it provides a two-way approach to source information. Not only are users able to pull data from learning platforms, they can also ask questions and query specific areas of the content, such as those relevant to their current jobs.
#3. Self-Paced Learning
A busy work and life schedules leave little ability to make time for professional development. With course notes, lectures and training modules downloadable and easily accessed, this approach allows learners to pull information when and where they need it.
#4. Global Relevancy
In industries such as maritime and oil and gas, companies often operate in multiple locations around the globe. An online platform can ensure that a programme is rolled out effectively across a number of divisions to a number of employees, wherever they may be in the world.
Delivering a consistent set of modules that have been vetted by HR and meet group standards allows all users to gain the same message and training as colleagues in other parts of the world.
E-learning in a modular set-up allows companies to emphasise specific training pieces which can be bolted on to users’ modules depending on job role and location to suit their needs. Blended distance e-learning is easy to update, ensuring that companies can change content and keep employees up to date with the latest information.
There has never been a more important time to invest in training and professional development, and IMarEST has been working hard to support companies in delivering and recognising professional excellence. Advancements in technology have opened up new doors to those interested in professional development, breaking down barriers in an effort to ensure high educational standards across the maritime sector to better support the future of the industry, and the people at its core.
David Kelly is the Director of Asia PAC for the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). David is responsible for the growth and profile of the Institute within the Asia Pacific region. A Chartered Marketer, David joined the Institute in 2012 and has supported the delivery of a Career Level Framework aimed at supporting the professional development of marine professionals around the globe. IMarEST has around 17,000 members in over 128 countries all around the world.
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