How to carry on training during and after the pandemic. The latest instalment in our Shipping in 2030 magazine, published in association with MacGregor.
Training in whatever industry you’re in has gone through profound and rapid change this year, thanks to Covid-19. Almost overnight, people schooled behind bricks and mortar walls were required by lockdown to adjust to taking lessons by gazing at teachers from afar via computer screens.
The topic made for lively debate in a June Splash TV episode featuring the head of Ocean Technologies Group, Manish Singh, and OSM boss, Bjoern Sprotte.
Sprotte, speaking from the shipmanager’s Singapore headquarters, related how when the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 training came to a “complete standstill” overnight, necessitating a swift adoption of replacement digital tools.
“What we have seen is a more connected learning community which, in my view, really looks ahead instead of having what we call this touch and go,” Sprotte said. Pre-Covid-19, when people came to a training facility, they spent time together then left, he explained, and it tended to be tricky to confirm just how successfully the lessons had been absorbed.
“With this new technology we stay connected, they share learnings and create a self-learning community by that, which is encouraging each other to learn skills and create a sense of belonging. For us that is also a retention mechanism obviously,” Sprotte said.
Singh, who oversees well-known training brands Videotel and Seagull among a host of products in the Ocean Technologies Group, said shipping as a whole was still adapting to the new normal of remote training.
“Adoption of e-learning will accelerate very sharply in the coming months,” Singh predicted.
As part of its approach to training, MacGregor has continuously sought to bring people up to speed with its own technology by using the latest available learning techniques. The approach, which in recent years has involved significant investment in distance learning and other digital training tools, has put the company in good shape to respond to Covid-19 constraints.
“Through theoretical sessions and simulator experience, our training courses allow crew to practice challenging operations, experiment with new techniques, learn from mistakes and experience realistic consequences under the watchful eye of MacGregor trainers,” says Dennis Mol, MacGregor’s vice president for digital and business transformation.
Virtual reality simulator training is designed for both experienced and novice operators. MacGregor’s state-of-the-art immersive simulator provides unique practical training. Crew obtain experience, which in real life would have demanded a huge investment in time and posed considerable risks.
The company simulates a wide variety of offshore cranes with a genuine crane control system and full operator interface. The simulator can be configured to reflect vessel, crane type, placement and a specific load for critical operation rehearsal. It simulates weather, wave direction and height, night and day, depth, load type, component breakdowns, system emergencies and other real world challenges.
MacGregor’s virtual reality training centre features an authentic operating chair for offshore crane simulations and a standing zone, where participants can walk around the simulated ship familiarising themselves with safe operation of the equipment. Refresher training and extra simulator days/hours can be provided for those with previous training.
“Making expert knowledge available to customers through simulation-based training is another information-based capability that enhances crew capabilities, operational safety and equipment reliability,” says Mol.
“Digital twin-based services provide a dynamic environment that enable procedure demonstrations and training to take place, with the ability for this type of training to be undertaken by crew onboard being a planned development,” he adds.
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