Smart digital technologies and new ways of working are creating a worrying skills gap for crews that must operate a new generation of onboard systems, while at the same time understanding and complying with an expanding regulatory environment. These new solutions will fall flat if mariners are not trained properly to handle the new systems and processes. And providing high-quality training and assessment using only traditional techniques will pose a significant commercial challenge. This is why a strategic partnership between Wärtsilä Voyage and Ocean Technologies Group represents an important move in meeting this challenge.
The two companies had announced their partnership earlier this year in February to share their expertise and resources and provide all maritime learning stakeholders – shipping companies, maritime training providers, manning agencies and seafarers – with a unique end-to-end learning platform by bringing all stakeholders together in one ecosystem that enables seamless collaboration and growth.
As a result, Wärtsilä Voyage’s Cloud Simulation Solution is now available on maritime knowledge provider Ocean Technologies Group’s (OTG) Ocean Learning Platform. This includes instructor-led interactive simulation training, automated assessment solutions, and a growing library of self-directed simulation exercises suitable for a wide range of Deck and Engineering learning pathways. It is immediately available to a combined customer pool of over 3,000 shipping companies and training centres, plus over a million seafarers, making training, assessment, and certification possible any time, and from anywhere in the world.
Conversely, Wärtsilä Voyage simulation users will gain access to the Ocean Learning Platforms exemplary online user experience and a wide range of tools to plan, deliver, and report on seafarer training. These include virtual classrooms for remote collaboration in mission brief and debrief, rapid e-learning allowing users to quickly create, publish and distribute e-learning content from within the Ocean Learning Platform (OLP), and the industry’s broadest library of maritime training content found in the Ocean Learning Library.
As the industry rapidly moves towards digitalisation and decarbonisation, the platform aims to support mariners to continually and conveniently upgrade their competence in a commercially viable way.
Convenient and cost-effective way to close skill gaps
“In just six months since our collaboration was announced, we have been able to bring our innovative teams together to design, plan and deliver a truly unique solution that combines our complementary technologies to provide tangible benefits to maritime training – accessibility, flexibility, cost efficiencies, and importantly, new possibilities such as bringing advanced simulation-based training closer to the flow of work,” said Neil Bennett, Business Development Director, Global Simulation, Wärtsilä Voyage.
The experiential learning platform aims to provide the industry with the broadest and most comprehensive range of maritime specific digital learning solutions available under one roof.
By enabling both instructor-led simulator training and self-directed simulated scenarios to be held using PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile devices, anywhere and at any time, the instructional reach of maritime training institutes has been exponentially extended, while reducing the cost and time of training and creating immediate and tangible benefits for all stakeholders alike.
“It represents another important incremental step towards creating a more connected maritime learning ecosystem, bringing stakeholders closer together and consolidating more seafarers learning data all in one place for performance analysis and insights,” added Bennett.
“Our partnership with Wärtsilä makes cloud simulation and type-specific training and technical resources available to seafarers and shore-based personnel, helping them gain proficiency in operating sophisticated Wärtsilä equipment,” explained Manish Singh, CEO of Ocean Technology Group.
Ocean Technologies Group (OTG) is the maritime sector’s leading learning and operational technologies company, serving 1400 customers, 20,000 ships, and more than a million seafarers worldwide. Thus, by agreeing to share their expertise and resources via a strategic partnership, Wärtsilä Voyage and OTG can together significantly enhance onboard efficiency and safety in the rapidly evolving and increasingly technologically focused maritime industry.
Just the beginning
With complimenting digital technologies and platforms, the two companies are uniquely placed to deliver an end-to-end blended learning solution to all relevant stakeholders, including shipping companies, maritime training providers, manning agencies, and the seafarers themselves. It can be given on-demand via cloud-based solutions, as well as by in-person instruction in training centres or onboard ships.
As Sean Fernback, President of Wärtsilä Voyage points out: “The effective and competent use of Smart Marine technology is a critical component of its successful implementation for both onboard and onshore personnel, the availability of simulated training ensures a smooth transition from traditional methods of operation.
“By leveraging our combined smart learning technologies and mariner performance optimisation services, shipping can achieve the desired outcome of operating with more efficient, safer, and environmentally aware crews who are properly equipped to perform in a rapidly changing, digitised maritime sector.”
It is encouraging that ships are increasingly being fitted with the very latest and most modern equipment and systems that save fuel, increase safety, and protect the environment. However, if the full benefits of these technologies are to be realised, crews must have the skills needed to employ them correctly. Unfortunately, until now too often technology has been seen to develop faster than the ability of crews to keep pace. The collaboration between Wärtsilä Voyage and OTG is an exciting and innovative development towards closing this skills gap.
“This is a very exciting and potentially game-changing collaboration that can help to support developing more competent, efficient, safer, and environmentally aware mariners able to succeed in our rapidly changing, digitised maritime industry,” said Bennett.
To learn more about how this platform creates immediate tangible benefits for Seafarers, Crewing Agencies, Maritime Training Institutes and Ship Operators, join our webinar:
- Be the first to learn about Wärtsilä Voyage’s Cloud Simulations offerings on the Ocean Learning Platform.
- Discover how this cost-effective, rapidly deployable, and highly scalable platform creates immediate benefits specifically for you.
- Know exactly which tools, exercises and assessments are most valuable for you.