Seafarers urged the UK government and industry to invest in the maritime workforce of the future with targeted, modern training in green technologies in order to reach environmental targets.
COP26 in Glasgow that :amely, second engineer Allan Dickson told the Maritime Skills Commission (MSC) Green Skills Forum at
There is a burning need for maritime professionals to receive training in environmentally friendly skills and technologies
Mr Dickson also added that the existing seafarer workforce must keep up to pace with the transition to net zero, explaining that the next generation of maritime professionals must be properly prepared during their cadetships.
We need to look at how we retrain the existing workforce with the skills of the future, and don’t just resign generations of highly skilled seafarers to the scrap heap
Furthermoer, Mr Dickson called on the UK government to develop policies to maximise the employment of British seafarers in the UK, in order to avoid a repeat of the HGV crisis in the maritime sector.
As he noted, the lack of training seafarerrs receive on new fuels and technologies is a problem, and while there is extra training available, “it is usually very expensive and doesn’t cover the new hybrid systems that are being developed.”
The problem is, we’re in a catch 22 situation now, because some of these new technologies that might get us to net zero, actually are so new that there’s not many ships using them, and the training certainly hasn’t caught up
Taking all of the above into consideration, Nautilus asks for a commitment from industry and government to help fund the retraining of merchant navy officers who may miss out on these new skills because they went through their training before they were offered.
Other key asks include:
- Increase investment in the SMarT scheme to cover 100% of the cost of training UK-resident seafarers and require a commitment from employers to guarantee a period of employment on completion of a cadetship;
- Ensuring British seafarers and maritime professionals are able to benefit from new job opportunities created in decommissioning of offshore oil rigs – an industry worth £48bn;
- Better align cadet training and subsequent in-work training in new green technologies;
- For a link to be made between government funding of maritime technology companies and training.