V.Group’s marine training arm, Marlins, has developed a training course to help seafarers cope with the challenges of rescuing migrants and refugees at sea.
The course has been developed in partnership with the charity Human Rights at Sea and in direct response to the ongoing crisis, said Marlins manager Catherine Logie.
Speaking at the launch of Marlins’ new range of e-learning courses, as part of London International Shipping Week, Ms Logie said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Human Rights at Sea. We wanted their input into this course. It is a course we think is essential. Seafarers are not trained in how to cope with the demands and challenges of large-scale rescue of migrants and refugees at sea; the SOLAS requirements don’t cover this.”
The new course, which will be launched in the next few months, deals with the political, welfare, health and human challenges associated with such rescues, she said.
In another development, Marlins has developed two new security courses in response to the new STCW requirements.
“Every person, of whatever kind, on the ship has to get training in security – that includes catering staff, hairdressing, entertainment, spa, etc.,” said Ms Logie. “Everyone must have a certificate to say they have done security training.”
Marlins has developed two courses, both already approved by the MCA, Isle of Man and Liberia. One is aimed at those who have direct responsibility for security and the other is for those who work onboard but do not have direct security responsibility. “These are being heavily used by individuals as well as companies,” said Ms Logie. Marlins has already delivered STCW security awareness training and testing for 6,000 personnel on 18 Holland America Line ships, through the e-learning environment, she added.
The LISW event was held to give a preview of the new Marlins e-learning suite which will take the Marlins product range from 20 courses to about 45 by the end of this year.
“We are diversifying into e-learning because we were requested to provide some custom-built courses; this encouraged us and we decided to diversity a little further,” said Ms Logie.
The Marlins courses are designed to be ‘standalone’, i.e. suitable for self-study in any location, but also adaptable for group teaching. They are being reviewed and trialled by seafarers as they are developed, and they are interactive, she emphasised.
“Learning can’t be ‘delivered’. It comes from the individual. Watching a video is a passive activity – you can press play, go to sleep and say you have watched it. Interactivity is essential.”
Staying up to date is also a critical part of the programme, she said, with training courses already developed in gas detection, the Polar Code, enclosed spaces, MLC and low-sulphur requirements, in response to new and upcoming regulation.
Marlins e-learning is ‘platform agnostic’, being delivered via a range of devices both at sea and onshore. However, she said, e-learning should not be an attempt to substitute hands-on training. “It is there to supplement and support, not replace, hands-on training.”
She concluded: “People are your greatest asset but they can also be your greatest risk. If training is not provided consistently, your vessel is at risk. Integrating e-learning into training can help you to assure the performance of your business.”