GlobalMET to meet needs of Y-generation
The Global Maritime Education and Training Association (GlobalMET) at its conference held in India has come up with a three-pronged strategy and to revamp the training system keeping with the new technologies
Capt Rod Short, Executive Secretary, GLOBAL Maritime Education & Training Association in his opening remarks contended that training institutes needed to catch up with the all-round developments taking place. “We are not doing enough,” he confessed. “Our awareness is not up to the mark. We need to raise awareness of the young seafarers towards maintaining a clean, safe and secure environment using every tool that can be exploited for promoting education and training.”
Delivering the keynote address, Naomi Rewari, Director of Applied Research International described the ‘Y’ generation to be persons of between 15 to 30 years of age. “They are a restless lot, wanting immediate response, are business savvy, and familiar with multi-tasking besides having several unique characteristics. India has the youngest population in the world,” she stated. “When it comes to selecting the merchant navy profession, the gen ‘Y’ looks for a short career at sea of about eight to nine years. Hence, the role played by maritime education in their lives should be shorter and quicker.”
The Chief Guest Amatava Bannerjee, Chief Surveyor with the government of India in his address pointed out, “There are plenty of new technological gadgets such as TV/videos, internet, other handy tools including the iPod, tablet, cell phones and various other handheld devices, if capitalized on in education and training, these could make a deep impact. The classroom with walls need not be the set up for education training. We need to enter into a dialogue with students. Are we willing to walk that extra mile?”
Several young officers who are recent entrants into the merchant navy were on-hand to express their views on “The Expectations of the ‘Y’ generation” and what is the best approach to training. Vikram S. Chaudhry, second officer with Wilhelmsen Ship Management pointed out, “25% of the world fleet is responsible for 50% of the world accidents at sea which means that proper training is essential.” He advocated replacement of text book training with interactive programs. Value added courses must include simulator and computer based training. Saurabh Pendse, a cadet officer on the other hand, wanted the focus to be more on case studies and problems. He wanted extensive use of video training and computers.
In a candid discussion a panel of eight cadet officers unanimously agreed on their choice of the sea career as being driven by the attractive salary on offer while the charms of a sea life ran a close second. Hence they preferred a shorter stint at sea of seven to eight years because of the pressure brought on by the new regulations and conventions.
Steven and Faye Gosling, both from the Nautical Institute, U.K. presented an insight into - “Continuing Professional Development – meeting the needs of generation ‘Y’”. They explained that it is a process that enables maritime professionals to take control of their own learning and development by carrying out activities that ensure they are always competent and successful throughout their career both at sea and ashore.
Closing the deliberations Capt Rod Short came up with the statements of outcome on three issues on which GlobalMET proposed to take further action. First, it would submit to ILO/IMO a request for a review of the implementation of the Manila amendment and the implications to the on-going maritime education and training with respect to the technical revolution underway. Secondly, with respect to the preliminary discussions that have taken place with the Asian Development Bank, GlobalMET will seek their support for raising the status of Asian Seafarers. And thirdly, create seafarers awareness of the environment and in particular seek support for promoting the SEA Project. (SEA stands for Seafarers’ Environment Awareness).