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Seafarers need greater training in decarbonization and digitalization


DNV has published a study co-sponsored by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), examining the key drivers transforming the maritime industry and their impact on ship management and seafarers. It notably found that fully 81% of seafarers surveyed indicated that they require either partial or complete training to effectively work with the advanced technology that will be present onboard future ships.

Similarly, over 75 percent of the respondent expressed a requirement for partial or complete training on new fuel types such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), batteries or synthetic fuels. This training deficit rose to 87 percent of survey respondents for emerging fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen and methanol. 

The research draws on a comprehensive methodology combining a literature review, expert consultations, and a survey of over 500 seafarers responsible for operating dry bulk, tanker, and container vessels globally. Of the many forces shaping the future of maritime, decarbonization and digitalization were identified to have the most profound impact on the future of seafarers and ship management leading up to 2030. 

As shipowners and operators are increasingly deploying modern technologies onboard and exploring the use of alternative fuels in a bid to stay compliant, the handling of incoming fuels and technologies will require the crew to have additional skill sets and thus the need for comprehensive training. At the same time, growing automation of components and systems onboard is expected to bring about a rise in autonomous and smart ships, thus the need to consider remote shore monitoring in the future. 

Launching the study, Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, Regional Manager South East Asia, Pacific & India, Maritime at DNV, said, “With decarbonization and digitalization rapidly transforming the maritime landscape, it is essential that shipowners and managers understand the new challenges and opportunities that these forces present.”

Chairman of SMF, Hor Weng Yew, said, “The work that we do this decade is important and complements the efforts of the shipping community to meet the net-zero target in 2050.”  

Following the research results, the study recommends seafarer training to be prioritized for fuels that are most likely to be predominant in the current decade, capitalizing on the ease of accessibility and range of modern training methods to improve skill deficits. 

It was also found that career advancement and development opportunities for seafarers will improve with the trend towards decarbonization and digitalization, complemented by the expected prevalence of complementary shore-based roles in the future.

(Photo from DNV)



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