Seafarer drought gives boost to ship management course

A UK company providing training to the maritime industry says its distance learning diploma course in ship management has been given a new lease of life by what it describes as "a potentially disruptive drought of former seafarers entering the sector"

According to Lloyd's Maritime Academy, a slump in ex-seagoing recruits has raised the risk of communication problems between onboard and shore-based personnel.

"In recent years there have been fewer experienced seafarers coming into ship management and now there is a massive shortage," said Lloyd's course director Captain Rodger MacDonald, secretary general of the International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations. "This can create problems in overall operational management where people on the ship are unable to be understood by people in the office."

The distance learning course is delivered in printed or online format and features ten compulsory and four optional modules, culminating in a case study in which candidates assume the role of managing director of a small ship management company.

Skills covered include communication and negotiation, quality systems and environmental issues, finance and business planning, manning and training, maritime law and insurance. At least one specialist subject must be studied from a choice of chartering and ship broking, technical management, operational management and health and safety.

"Courses like this provide a promotion ladder for seafarers coming ashore and hopefully will encourage more people to go to sea in the first place," said MacDonald.

Enrolment is now under way for the 2008-09 diploma course ̵1; the tenth in the series ̵1; which runs for 12 months from 17 March and is purpose-designed to enable seafarers to study at work while preparing for a new career. Details are at

Image: Fewer experienced seafarers are moving into management roles

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