London: A seasoned shipmanagement expert warns today that far too many owners are only investing in training when pushed too, typically following an accident.
Nigel Cleave, ceo of Videotel, a producer of maritime safety training software and materials, tells Maritime CEO: “Far too many maritime accidents can be attributed to the human element and a lack of proper training. Invariably, companies only wake up to the importance of training once they’ve had a serious accident and had to deal with huge insurance claims and damage to their reputation.”
Cleave goes on to add: “Due to the pressure on costs, a number of shipowners and management companies do cut corners and their training budgets often suffer as a result.”
Having commenced his career at sea as a navigating cadet officer with Cunard, Cleave has more than 30 years’ experience in the shipping industry, having also held senior management roles within the shipmanagement sector.
Videotel was taken over by KVH Industries of the US last year. The new owners extend Videotel’s reach, Cleave reckons.
“Being part of KVH Industries,” he says, “means that VideotelT can now offer a content delivery service directly to a vessel using KVH’s sophisticated communication networks service IP-MobilCast. It also means that, upon release of new training programmes, these can immediately be updated ensuring Videotel’s customers and all onboard have the latest information at their fingertips at all times.”
On the future of crewing, the shipmanagement veteran believes getting seafarers up to speed with ever more sophisticated technology will be vital going forward.
“Training will become increasingly more important as the systems and technology used to operate ships become more and more sophisticated,” Cleave says, adding: “The transfer of big data is another key issue and how that information is analysed onboard is a hot topic in the industry. Highly skilled and competent officers and engineers will be required and they will need a programme of continual professional development to deal with these challenges.”