SAFETY4SEA: Your organization has been shortlisted for the 2018 SMART4SEA Awards in the ‘Training’ category alongside a number of other distinguished nominees. What would you like to share with industry’s stakeholders with respect to this development?
Patrick Ho Maxwell: We are truly honoured to be nominated alongside distinguished training institutions. As a company involved in owning, managing and crewing over the past seven decades, Magsaysay made a decision long ago that investing in training and the development of the workforce is key to contributing to the success of our customers. As governance and compliance becomes more globally integrated and complex, this principle has proven to be a vital factor in the sustainability and scalability of our services. As a privately funded company, investments made over USD 50 M in programs, facilities, and technology over the years has not been an easy task. We are grateful for our partners and Principals who have shared our long-term view on the development of people and who have supported these efforts. The company’s training arms include Magsaysay Learning Resources, Inc. (MLRI), Magsaysay Institute of Shipping (MIS), MOL Magsaysay Maritime Academy (MMMA) and Magsaysay Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (MIHCA).
S4S: What are the key challenges surrounding the training of seafarers today?
P.H.M.: The shifting of supply of maritime officers and managers from Europe and developed countries to developing economies poses a challenge to develop global professionals who embrace global standards and competencies. Higher penalties for errors and non-compliance, more complex trade and customer expectations, ever- changing regulations on safety and environmental standards, disruptions caused by technology and automation, means that seafarers must be educated and trained with the highest standards in technical skills, deep knowledge of rules and regulations and skills like leadership, critical thinking, communication amongst other soft skills, to be successful.
S4S: In what way do you believe training needs to be developed in order to keep up with industry’s dynamic environment and technological developments?
P.H.M.: Magsaysay is working on strategies to develop a pipeline of children in elementary and high school who have a deep interest and love for S.T.E.A.M. This should allow us to build pools of engineers for the future. Importantly, the maritime industry should have deeper understanding of what the future seafarer role will be in an age of automation so that educational institutions and training centers teach relevant subjects. This could include greater data analytics and operations and maintenance of emerging automated systems.
As such, Magsaysay continues to invest heavily in the innovative learning of our education and training programs so our seafarers have skills that meet the technical requirements of modern vessels and the commercial needs of ship owners and their customers.
Shipowners must realize that they have to invest in their future talent. One important investment is to provide berths for cadets. We promote the seafaring career to talented applicants by ensuring that the numbers of cadets we educate all have cadet positions on a ship. We get the best and brightest young talents, sponsor their education with study now, pay later facilities. Over the years, close to 6,000 cadets have graduated from our cadet program at the Magsaysay Institute of Shipping, of which 30% have reached officer level. We provide technical skills upgrading based on performance reviews.
S4S: How training in shipping could be developed to meet the needs of Generation Z?
P.H.M.: In a world of great competition for talent, the maritime industry must make the career attractive. To attract young people, we must be innovative and transform from teaching to learning strategies, making maritime education and training as attractive and interesting as possible.
- This includes omni-channel methodologies and an enabling environment for continuous learning and development. With technology, the beyond the classroom walls learning must be available at home, on-board or while travelling through mobile phones and apps. Attracting young people means we need to invest heavily on new technologies, state-of-the-art facilities and in the latest communication platforms. Magsaysay has been advocating for wi-fi modems to be placed in ships while at port for seafarers to have free access to the internet. The industry must attract the new generation of seafarers who are often described as digital natives.
- The industry must work together on a public relations campaign to make the public more aware of what the shipping industry does for humanity. Shipping has become an invisible service, and we need to ensure that the public understand its great role. Young people want to join an industry with prestige and meaning.
- Companies must develop a compelling employee value proposition – a career from sea to shore with clear development pathways.
- We must address concerns like safety, time away from home, potential criminalization and piracy.
S4S: What is your key message to the industry stakeholders with respect to the future of maritime training?
P.H.M.: Shipowners must realize that their success to satisfy their customer and their ability to avert risk lies on their investment in people.
You may cast your vote for Magsaysay Maritime Corporation at 2019 SMART4SEA Awards dedicated webpage till 21st of December 2018!
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.