European research confirms the need for innovation in maritime education

27 May 2020


Digitisation and modern technologies have been rapidly changing the maritime sector in recent years. European maritime professionals, both at sea and ashore, need more digital and soft skills to stay ahead of the industry. These are some of the results of European research into making and keeping the maritime sector future-proof, carried out by SkillSea.

The research report, prepared by experts from the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) and Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, and with the assistance of other SkillSea partners, examined the main trends in the shipping sector:

  • education,
  • technological developments such as autonomous vessels and clean energy,
  • collaboration between clusters and digitisation.

The report shows that more training should be given in sustainability, greening and digitisation. Future seafarers also need to develop soft skills in leadership and management. In addition, there is a need for transition programs that make the shift from working at sea to working on shore easier. Finally, the researchers recommend that the STCW training (the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) be extended to include maritime law, corporate finance, autonomous shipping and other new technology-based skills.

A summary report is available here, and the full report can be found on the SkillSea website.

This research was conducted before the Covid-19 crisis and its lockdowns hit Europe. The crisis, however, does not affect the conclusions of this report, it actually makes the conclusions of the report even more relevant.