By Claes Eek Thorstensen, Executive Vice Chairman, Thome Group
The maritime industry is going through a period of immense change with digitalisation and numerous regulatory challenges like de-carbonisation targets which means that our seafarers and their office colleagues will have to learn new skills as their roles adapt to incorporate these technological advances.
Many of the manual and mundane processing of data will be completed by computers that will automatically generate reports and dashboards allowing us to make better decisions in shorter timescales and very often using live data.
In an effort to keep pace with these new changes, Thome has always been at the cutting edge of new training techniques to enhance the learning and development of its staff so they have the required skills and knowledge to be able to perform at an optimal level.
The company has invested in a new navigation bridge simulator to keep pace with the new equipment available on the vessels which we are managing. We have also just introduced a new online Learning Management System to provide us with greater visibility of the future training needs and skills of our colleagues.
We should, however, never underestimate the experience and knowledge that can be passed on by our safety coaches as they review how our seafarers approach tasks when onboard.
Mentoring is an undervalued concept but, at Thome, we like to encourage the pooling of information between the generations where younger members of our team can teach senior members about new technology and our longer serving colleagues can give the benefit of their experience to our millennials.
So, let us all be open to change and to try out new learning techniques to ensure we keep pace with our rapidly changing environment. It is never too late to learn something new and it
is, in fact, well documented that keeping your mind active and engaged is good for your mental health.