As digitalization continues to evolve, the shipping industry faces ongoing challenges, including keeping pace with technology, adapting to changes and meeting the growing demands of stricter regulations. To respond to these developments successfully, industry requires a diverse, multidisciplinary, and well-trained workforce and a strategy to attract new talents, agreed experts of 2021 CAREER4SEA Forum.
e are living in a fascinating era for the maritime industry but considering the rapid technological developments, there are significant challenges as well, noted Mrs. Jillian Carson-Jackson, President, The Nautical Institute who mentioned that industry’s awareness, digital intelligence and diversity & inclusion are the new industry’s trends. In particular, Mrs. Carson-Jackson highlighted that there is an exciting growth due to the technology that helps industry to move out of its traditional role.
Technology is one of the biggest drivers of change right now; there is digital transformation of the industry that brings us to the need to understand how the knowledge of data can be used in favor. This is what is called digital intelligence
Technology will also be critical for advancing environmental sustainability. As such, along with the digital transformation, we are also witnessing more support of diversity an inclusion as well as environmental awareness, Mrs Elpi Petraki, President, WISTA Hellas, said.
Industry has put environment as priority, we now have stricter regulations to follow while the new carriers are more eco friendly. This is a key step
Businesses and governments recognize that adapting to the post-pandemic world and building back better requires adding economic, social and environmental value and creating new business opportunities, not least for maritime transport.
In turn, Atty. Iris Baguilat, President, Döhle Seafront Crewing (Manila), Inc. mentioned that since the pandemic forced us to work remotely, digitalization became part of our daily lives and came to stay. In addition, great focus has been shed on mental health which has emerged as a huge concern for the industry. Pandemic also brought more collaboration among different stakeholders for the good of our industry. Mr. Konstantinos Kyrou, Deputy DPA/CSO, HSQEE Officer, Capital Ship Management Corp, agreed with the above current trends, adding that we need to focus on business intelligence issues as well.
The pandemic demonstrated the need of shipping to be able to adjust quickly to any crisis, new technology, new needs and remain resilient in order to keep operating smoothly
‘’What is important for all stakeholders in our industry is to be able to navigate through rough waters, in other words to manage disruptions’’ argued Dr. Ioannis Lagoudis, Assistant Professor Dept of Maritime Studies, University of Piraeus. This is actually the new norm; we have to embrace diversity, digital issues, mental health in order to be prepared in the best possible way to manage the high vulnerability issues that are coming in the next decades, he mentioned.
Digitalization and new developments in the field of artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT and automation are becoming increasingly relevant for maritime transport. They help streamline existing processes, create new business opportunities, and transform supply chains and trade geography. There are a lot of opportunities and challenges for the young generation due to technology and digitalization, noticed Mrs Carson-Jackson. ‘’The young generation comes with more comfort levels with technology and expectations; the only concern right now is change and acceleration of that change’’ Mrs Carson-Jackson said adding that from a technological point of view, the opportunities are significant. ‘’We have the opportunity to work on how to use data and the new equipment accordingly, we can start to search for more innovation around’’.
Young people have many capabilities to use digital tools. The analytics, digital skills informatics will be the new skills required from young people who would like to join shipping, hence, we need to emphasize through training on automation
…noticed Mrs. Petraki considering that young people will have to adapt and work in an automated environment. In turn, Atty Baguilat said that the shift to more digital and the advantages coming bring several concerns. ‘’Students or trainees now learn virtually through remote training but not face to face, is that going to be better or worse? Time will tell whether the new norm in training is of benefit’’, she noted.
Even though young people are excellent users of new technology, they don’t know how this technology actually works and the algorithms behind. In this context, they need to adopt creative thinking with new technology and business analytics can help towards. ‘’This is a nice point, the matter is not how to use new technology – we can all learn – the matter is how to use technology to our benefit. This is far beyond the technical skills required, this is the actual key point to focus on; how to help young people to be able to understand the new technology and use it in an innovative and creative way.’’ concluded Mrs Petraki.
Overall, the way we are looking at the training and certification of seafarers practically need to change and embed innovation to grasp knowledge into the digital environment, added Mrs Carson-Jackson. Apart from emotional intelligence, there is also digital intelligence in which seafarers need to be trained.
‘’How can we ensure that seafarers have practical qualifications that align with digital requirements and how STCW needs to be revised accordingly? This is a challenging and complex issue that requires a lot of discussion’’ she highlighted. It is therefore important to start considering about the proper qualification that a seafarer today should have in order to be able to operate in a more digitalized environment.
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