Marlon Rono, President, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation gave a presentation on the ”Training and Development focusing to Retain Right Talents’‘ at the 2015 SAFETy4SEA Athens Forum. He noticed that seafarers are key to shipping, therefore it is important to train and develop them in order to retain them. This includes continuous skills upgrading, use of innovation and technology such as e-learning and mobile applications, career development, job rotation, and job transition to onshore opportunities. All these tools provide seafarers career with direction and help them to achieve their aspirations based on family vision. He highlighted that the family should also be part of the seafarer’s entire training and development process, by establishing programs such as financial literacy for the family. He concluded that such programmes will lead to loyalty and retention.
The presentation focuses on retain of the right talents. Allow me to share with you the Asian Model. Asian means Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and the neighboring Asian 11 countries which by the way, by next month all these countries will be met all together to discuss items that have to do with free mobility of trade, of people and of education in an effort Asia to be a stronger region.
Seafarers are key to our business, they run our expensive ships, and ensure cargos reach their destinations intact and safe. They spend long periods away from their families in pursuit of their career and the well-being of their loved ones back home. According to Drewry Maritime Research, the shipping industry will require an additional 42,500 officers by 2019. Currently there is a shortage of 15,000 officers and it is expected to remain the same over the next few years. That means the right of talent will continue.
The loss of an officer, or even a rating, can be a difficult problem to correct. In addition, the evolution of technologically advanced ships requires highly competent seafarers to ensure onboard safety, data analysis, and operations of new systems. It is therefore important that we source and retain competent seafarers to man our ships and continuously train them on the latest advancement in technology in the shipping industry. Continuous training provides the seafarer a sense of self-worth and pride in his career. It builds his self-confidence and trust that his employer is caring for him and the welfare of his family. It provides him an assurance that his career is moving forward. Ship owners or ship managers are assured that since continuous development is in the organization’s culture, there is a steady pipeline of talented crew at different levels. There is confidence that the crew is loyal and the ability of the organization to retain talent is strong.
In our company we promote a career development program for seafarers. We start from cadets to the highest of position they can achieve. We get the best and brightest talents and sponsor their education and technical skills upgrading. Over the years more than 5,000 cadets have graduated from the program, of which 30% have reached officer level. Because of the program that we have intensively implemented we have retained 96% of the graduates. In order to ensure the growth of our seafarers in our career development program, we used various methodologies such as Talent Assessments, Career Pathing, Job Rotation, Job Enrichment, Coaching and Mentorship, and Transition to onshore job opportunities. We have seafarers now working onshore as superintendents, Fleet directors, technical support and instructors and trainers for our training facilities.
The digital revolution has brought about options to evolve. There are seafarers who, if provided with the right access and opportunity can achieve the highest position of a Captain or a Chief Engineer. We encourage innovative initiatives that promote an enabling environment for continuous training and development. It is important for us to go beyond the classroom walls and take advantage of technology to deliver training programs and courses to seafarers while at home, on-board or travelling. Magsaysay provides online portals that can be accessed online such as Behavioral and Psychological Assessments, Competency Development, Final Briefings, and Orientation Seminar. These are available through mobile phones and apps.
A customized training plan and matrix as part of the Competency Development. A seafarer can choose his development path and learn at his own pace. The online system will automatically provide him with all of the necessary learning materials, assessments and he can monitor his progress through his computer or phone. A Crew-Self Service portal is made available allowing our seafarers to receive services needed without having to physically visit our centers or offices.
Let’s go now to chapter regarding caring for family. A Family-centric Vision helps set the right goals for the seafarers and their family. While the seafarer is away at sea or focusing on his training and development, the family should extend their support. Proper budgeting and financial management are crucial in ensuring that the rewards of the seafarer’s sacrifices are utilized properly and bears fruit while he is away. Through the Crew and Family Welfare Office, our company assists the seafarers in his vision for his family. A key initiative, regular conduct training programs for vacationing seafarers and their families. One such program focuses on Financial Literacy which aims to impart the basics of budgeting, savings and investment, and the principles of entrepreneurship to seafaring families. Our seafarers and employees grouped to form a cooperative. The organization provides financial support assistance in building their home, start-up a business and investment avenues for their hard earned income.
In conclusion, the family should be part of the seafarer’s entire training and development process. Employers should assist them by actively encouraging and providing them with a platform to realize their dreams and aspirations. This expression of caring is the best way to gain their loyalty which makes them stay with the company.
Above article is an edited version of Mr. Rono’s presentation during the 2015 SAFETY4SEA Forum which successfullyconcluded on Wednesday 7thof October 2015in Eugenides Foundation Athens attracting1100 delegates from 30 countries representing a total of 480 organizations.
Click here to view his presentation video
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