Embracing Digital Learning for a Future-Ready Maritime Workforce


The maritime industry is undergoing a significant transformation driven by decarbonization and digitalization. Ensuring that training is fit for purpose to meet evolving workforce dynamics is critical. Digital learning methods must be adopted to effectively and quickly train and upskill both new and experienced maritime professionals.

Key Training Needs and Strategies

A recent report by the Tripartite Advisory Panel (TAP) for Future-Ready Maritime Workforce outlines essential strategies for preparing and sustaining the maritime workforce. While the report focuses on Singapore, its findings are applicable globally. The TAP report emphasizes improving training to deepen and broaden skills, covering domain, digital, and soft skills essential for the maritime industry.

Shift in Learning Preferences

As the workforce transitions from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, there is a marked preference for digital learning methods over traditional classroom settings. Micro-learning, involving short video content and gamification, is effective in delivering engaging and memorable training. This approach caters to the modern preference for bite-sized content that can be quickly absorbed.

The Role of Digital Learning

Digital learning methods, including Virtual Reality (VR), can provide immersive, realistic training experiences. VR allows learners to visualize and practice in real-life maritime environments, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. For example, VR training can help cadets acclimate to ship environments more effectively than traditional methods.

Tripartite Advisory Panel (TAP) for Future-Ready Maritime Workforce Report says, “Training providers should develop stackable skills and micro-credential models for pre-employment training and continuous learning programs.”

Complementing Traditional Training

Digital learning should complement rather than replace traditional methods. It offers flexibility and accessibility, enabling training to be rolled out across fleets without logistical challenges. Digital content can be tailored to specific roles and needs within an organization, making complex information more accessible.

Adapting to Modern Challenges

The maritime industry must rapidly adapt its training to address emerging challenges, such as the adoption of new, energy-efficient technologies and alternative fuels. Digital training can play a crucial role in equipping professionals with the necessary skills to safely operate these new technologies. Capt. Pradeep Chawla, CEO and Founder, of MarinePALS states that “Digital learning methods are becoming increasingly important to train and upskill our maritime workforce to meet the rapidly changing needs of the industry.”

Collaborative efforts between industry leaders, educators, and digital training providers are essential to designing comprehensive training programs. By embracing digital learning, the maritime industry can ensure its workforce is prepared to competently face future challenges, enhancing both safety and efficiency.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime