Study highlights seafarer digital upskilling requirements

A study co-sponsored by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and DNV examining the key drivers transforming the maritime industry and their impact on seafarers has found a significant potential training deficit in the areas of decarbonisation and digitalisation.

The research was compiled from 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, decarbonisation and digitalisation were identified as likely to have the most profound impact on the future of seafarers and ship management leading up to 2030, with 81% of seafarers surveyed indicating 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% of the respondents 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% of survey respondents for emerging fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen and methanol.

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

“Proper training and industry collaboration will be imperative to ensure seafarers are equipped with the competence and skills to operate ships using new fuels and technologies in a safe and efficient manner. Upskilling seafarers will not only enable them to execute additional monitoring and maintenance tasks onboard but can also be leveraged upon to improve attraction and retention in the industry.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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