The Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Maritime and the Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) last week (30 October to 3 November) convened the regional train the trainer course for simulator instructors, Electronic Chart Display, and Information System (ECDIS) trainers.
The weeklong training course aimed to assist maritime training institutes and their teaching staff who are responsible for development of simulator exercises and for the training of the officers in charge of a navigational watch in organising new training courses, in relation to the training on operational use of the electronic chart display and information system.
The Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) hosted the training giving the opportunity for the participants to have practical simulator hands-on and familiarisation of the ECDIS teaching.
At present, there are fourteen national maritime training institutes that provide differing levels of seafarer training in the Pacific Island region. While some training institutes limit their qualifications to seafarers on domestic coastal and inter-island trade, others train towards achieving qualifications accepted by the international shipping industry.
According to SPC, since 1st Jan 2014 until 31st September 2016, a total of 2,918 seafarers were trained, including those working on international vessels.
The development and use of new technologies in the maritime industry has led to equip ships’ bridge with e-navigation systems and require maritime instructors to be qualified to train the students on board electronic systems using simulators in maritime schools.
In his welcome address, SPC Deputy Director Transport, Thierry Nervale recalled that all electronic systems and navigation aids on board ships must be used smartly by deck officers who needs to be familiar with their advantages but also their limitations. It is therefore essential that seafarers are well prepared during their time at schools on the use of these shipboard electronic systems and trained on simulators.”
In his opening remarks, Captain Khoo Gek Hung of MPA reiterated the importance of instructors in any training courses, particularly using simulators. The effectiveness of IMO Model course 1.27 – Operation use of ECDIS, a generic ECDIS training course, could only be achieved by having good ECDIS instructors.
Participants were encouraged to participate actively in creating simulation exercises in this course.
After this training, all participants are now equipped with tools and methods to teach on simulators and the use of ECDIS that allow certification of seafarers in accordance with international standards.
Ore Toua – Maritime Training Adviser, GEM Division, SPC | [email protected]