The rapid evolution of technology is not being followed by the development of maritime personnel competence, and the current International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) is already behind the times, delegates attending the CrewConnect event in Manila were told today.
Natalie Shaw, director of employment affairs at the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), said STCW must adapt to all the technological developments sweeping through the industry, echoing calls made by her chairman, Esben Poulsson the day before at the same show.
STCW was adopted by the IMO in 1978 and was radically revised by the IMO in 1995 at the request of ICS, with a further set of changes, the STCW Manila Amendments, adopted in 2010.
Anglo-Eastern’s Captain Pradeep Chawla agreed with Shaw, saying: “The fundamental need is that any regulation must keep up with what’s happening in the industry. In my view, there has to be a comprehensive review of all IMO regulations to see what’s the current issues with seafarers.”
“It is now time to revise, revamp and relook at the entire process of seafarer training. Understanding the shipping reality today means addressing requirements rather than learning from the training,” said Fared Khan, marine director of Wallem Shipmanagement.
“I think the future will go much more towards sealess operations, we have to reconsider the entire concept of STCW, which has to be made in a different way,” said Torbjorn Eide, vice president of Klaveness Ship Management.
“As a shipowner and ship operator, STCW is a pre-requisite of our operations. But we live by the customers who are actually raising the bar. So it’s not the STCW that makes us good, it is our customers,” Eide maintained.
According to Eide, STCW sets restrictions on his company when it wants to optimise safety standards by using digital tools.
“It would be a completely different mindset when it comes to marine safety in the future as more engineering jobs could be moved to be shore-based,” Eide reckoned.
Further Splash reports from CrewConnect will be carried tomorrow.