How do you make maritime training accessible to all?

28 November 2017 by Tone-Merete Hansen
In an industry faced with disruption and challenges, many companies choose to lower costs by cutting down on training. How do we turn the tide?

We know that maritime training and education increase knowledge, awareness and efficiency significantly. Yet, more and more companies choose to send staff with a bare minimum of training to work, vastly increasing the risk of accidents and harm to the environment. We need to change this and make higher-quality training at lower costs accessible to anyone who would benefit from professional training.

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I feel privileged to work in KONGSBERG, a company that has been in the maritime simulation business for close to 40 years. Its well-established, long-term relationships with its customers mean that it has unparalleled domain knowledge; knowledge I tap into every single day in my work to offer the best simulation as a tool to improve maritime training and education.

Today, it is apparent to all that digitalization is changing the industry as we know it, providing suppliers of both simulation and maritime training and education with a host of new opportunities. There is no doubt that we all have to change and adapt to the opportunities the new technology provides.

The question is: how can we use these opportunities to improve the training and education that is being offered?

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How can we improve maritime training and education?

We need to heighten the quality of maritime training and make it more accessible. How do we go about achieving this? To me, what it boils down to is a combined platform and ecosystem, which should have these core characteristics:

  • The ecosystem should be centered on simulation usage and make maritime training available in a completely new way by handling aspects such as login and access, and webshop. Students or course participants should be able to do exercises when and where it suits their schedule, take assessments and tests and move on to the next level when they are ready.
  • Users should be able to subscribe to or rent access to ship models or geographical areas for their particular training needs to increase their educational options and provide them with a superior training experience.
  • The ecosystem should also allow instructors to make content in the shape of exercises, ship models, and sailing regions available to others by uploading and sharing such content. In the same way, they should be able to buy similar content from other training providers.
  • To increase the total training value, instructors should be able to connect different sites to run joint exercises, for instance between schools in different parts of the country or even across the world. This would also enable them to use the ecosystem to connect physical simulators for collaboration and integrated training purposes utilizing the expertise of the different locations.

A system with these characteristics would make simulation available to a wider range of users and stakeholders – enabling them to train anywhere, anytime, and on any device – vastly increasing the safety of both employees and environment.

How do we get there?

We are well on our way, but the best solution will be created in collaboration with those who will be using the system, customers as well as users. We all need to work together if we want to join the fourth industrial revolution and catch all the opportunities that are now open to us. We definitely cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

Can we do more to improve the quality of maritime training and education? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

About the writer
Tone-Merete Hansen
Tone-Merete Hansen is Senior Vice President of Maritime Simulation at Kongsberg Digital. She has been with KONGSBERG since 2008 and holds a master’s degree in economics and business administration. Her long experience from KONGSBERG has provided her with a unique understanding of the simulation needs of the maritime industry.