MNTB Seminar: technology, connectivity and wellbeing

The MNTB Autumn Seminar took place on Wednesday 26th October and was a chance for industry to hear the work that the MNTB has been taking part in over the last year. Members of the team shared their work activities from the introduction of new Tanker Training Record Books, the development of Careers at Sea & Beyond, and the progression of the maritime apprenticeships.

Attendees of the event were given the opportunity to hear the work going in to the production of Marine Autonomous Systems in a presentation from QinetiQ. The work includes the construction of these intelligent vessels and the training requirements for those working with them when they are launched at sea. There is room to believe that these vessels will be ready in the next 10 years and the industry needs to be ready for their introduction. Over the coming months and years there will be numerous discussions addressing the regulatory complexities around this technology and the skills that must be adopted by seafarers and companies to ensure their success.

As technology continues to progress, there is an opportunity to improve connectivity for seafarers. Inmarsat presented astonishing figures stating that nearly 75% of seafarers now choose the company they work for at sea taking levels of connectivity into account, whilst only 20% of the companies who offer internet at sea do so for free. Whilst contending with the moral dilemma of diminishing crew relationships due to the introduction of better connectivity, it is important for the seafarer to be able to contact their friends and family during their voyages and this work is being looked at by a number of companies.

Increased connectivity may also help with the wellbeing of the seafarer by helping reduce the isolation that can be experienced whilst away at sea. Wellbeing is currently a hot topic within the industry and the MCA encouraged attendees at the seminar to think about what wellbeing means for the seafarer and how we can best address the issues. A new project between leading industry organisations will be looking at what guidance should be available to assist both shipping companies and seafarers in understanding wellbeing. Information is being sought from companies as to the guidance they already have and would be willing to share with this project. Please contact Fena Boyle with any guidance you might like to submit.

The Honourable Company of Master Mariners showcased the new route to Chartered Master Mariner that they have been developing alongside the Nautical Institute, the MNTB and the UK Chamber of Shipping. This new way of defining the skills and experience of Master Mariners in the industry will be launching in the next few weeks.

For more information contact:

Fena Boyle

Training and Careers Coordinator

020 7417 2825