An overwhelming 81 percent of seafarers have expressed a necessity for training to effectively handle the advanced technologies expected to be deployed on future ships, a DNV study has revealed.
Also, over 75 percent of Deck and Engine Officers indicated a need for training on new fuel types, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), batteries, or synthetic fuels.
The demand for training on emerging fuels like ammonia, hydrogen, and methanol surged even higher, reaching 87 percent among survey participants.
The research examines the key drivers transforming the maritime industry and their impact on ship management and seafarers leading up to 2030.
Of the many forces shaping the future of maritime, decarbonisation and digitalisation were identified to have the most profound impact on the future of seafarers and ship management leading up to 2030.
As shipowners and operators are increasingly deploying modern technologies onboard and exploring the use of alternative fuels in a bid to stay compliant, the handling of incoming fuels and technologies will require the crew to have additional skill sets and thus the need for comprehensive training.
At the same time, the growing automation of components and systems onboard is expected to bring about a rise in autonomous and smart ships, thus the need to consider remote shore monitoring in the future.
The survey further showed that 52 percent of seafarers Deck and Engine Officers 53 percent indicated a strong preference for in-person training at a maritime training centre or academy, with 23 percent of Deck and Engine Officers 27 percent that prefers a blend of in-person and online training.
Two-thirds of seafaring officers said more advanced technology onboard would make their job easier, which fits well with the thriving maritime innovation ecosystem and increasing venture capital funding, particularly in Singapore.
However, only 40 percent of seafaring officers think shore-based control centres, used to operate some or all functions remotely, would make their onboard job easier.
“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,” Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, regional manager of Southeast Asia, Pacific & India at DNV Maritime, said.
According to Santa Maria, “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.”
Hor Weng Yew, chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), said the work of the Foundation complements the efforts of the shipping community to meet the net-zero target in 2050.