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Continuing professional development scheme launched by Nautical Institute

Continuing professional development scheme launched by Nautical Institute

London:  As global shipping faces a growing shortfall of well-trained seagoing personnel, the Nautical Institute's (NI) new continuing professional development (CPD) scheme, launched in London late last week, aims to help seafarers advance their careers whilst also offering scope for shipping companies to improve their retention of experienced personnel. Recruitment is a growing headache for most shipping companies as the attractions of a seagoing career become increasingly overshadowed by issues including working conditions, criminalisation and isolation.

"The inconvenient truth for the maritime industry is that not enough people are being attracted in, and not enough are staying," said Peter Aylott, the NI's Director of Professional Development. Industry estimates indicate that there could be a global shortage of officers totalling more than 80,000 by 2012.

The NI's scheme, backed by the IMO, has been developed by Aurion Learning of Northern Ireland. The company specialises in web-based learning and has already designed similar schemes for BT, the UK's National Health Service and The Law Society. THE NI's system is easy-to-use, web-based and password protected, enabling seafarers to keep electronic certificates in one place, set personal targets and aims, track progress and liaise with mentors.

In due course, it is hoped that the new setup will provide a basis for maritime social networking, rather like Facebook and MySpace ashore, enabling young recruits to behave at sea in the same way as they do ashore. Of course, the NI's initiative will require a certain level of ship connectivity although it has been designed to work with a low demandon bandwidths.  [06/04/09]