Skillsea: Maritime education lagging behind developments in technology

Digitalisation and modern technologies have rapidly changed the maritime sector in recent years. That is why European maritime professionals, both at sea and ashore, need more digital and soft skills to stay ahead of the industry. This was concluded from research by SkillSea.

The research report, written by experts from the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) and Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, and with the assistance of other SkillSea partners, examined the main trends in the shipping sector: education, technological developments, such as autonomous vessels and clean energy, collaboration between clusters and digitisation.

The report shows that more training should be given in sustainability, greening and digitisation. Future seafarers also need to develop soft skills in leadership and management. In addition, there is a need for transition programmes that make the shift from working at sea to working on shore easier.

Finally, the researchers recommend that the STCW training (the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) be extended to include maritime law, corporate finance, autonomous shipping and other new technology-based skills.

This research was conducted before the Covid-19 crisis and its lockdowns hit Europe. The crisis however, does not affect the conclusions of this report, yet according to SkillSea the Covid-19 situation makes the conclusions of the report even more relevant.

The full report can be found on the SkillSea website.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.