Seafarers are set to receive new training opportunities as the shipping industry transitions to using environmentally-friendly fuels in order to meet Maritime 2050 net-zero emission targets.
Earlier this month, and coinciding with the recent COP26 summit in Glasgow, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)’s Chief Examiner Ajit Jacob along with Mark Stagg, Dean of Nautical and STEM Faculty at City of Glasgow College, delivered a joint presentation to attendees at a Voyage to Carbon Zero event – outlining why going green will harvest skill growth for seafarers learning to work with alternative fuels such as Ammonia, Hydrogen and Nuclear in the coming years.
The switch to these fuels on ships, which will play a key part in reducing the industry’s impact on the climate, will also bring about a renewed focus on technology and innovation to implement sector-wide change over the best part of the next three decades.
A comprehensive review of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) convention, which sets the sets minimum qualification standards for seafarers on merchant ships and large yachts at sea, will be initiated in 2022 and see greater training flexibility for seafarers, to help keep pace with fast-changing technology and the introduction of alternate fuels.
Ajit, who produced slides 1-10 of the presentation titled ‘Green Skills and Training’, said: “It’s vital that seafarer training evolves and progresses in line with a shipping industry which is adapting and moving forward all the time. Seafarers have a really important role to play in supporting the UK government’s decarbonisation objectives and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with training colleges, stakeholders and the Maritime Skills Commission to enhance talent pathways and explore training opportunities for alternative fuels.
“There’s no doubt that the path to net-zero is a challenging one but by equipping qualified and dedicated seafarers with the very latest maritime technology skills, it ensures they can carry out their roles effectively and make valued contributions to the maritime sector.”