Companies should be prioritising the needs of the new internet-savvy generation of seafarers to ensure the long-lasting future of shipping, says leading catering management provider MCTC.
With increasing access to the internet, the pressures of recent global crises and having the world at their fingertips, Sven Schroeder (pictured), Managing Director, MCTC Germany believes the new generation of seafarers are facing a new set of challenges and have a new set of needs that the industry must address.
He believes the industry must prepare for the next generation of crews and ensure they have all their training needs at their fingertips, access to health and fitness support, as well as providing them with full support for their mental health.
Mr Schroeder said: “The new set of seafarers are the future of shipping, so we have to make sure we are prioritising their needs to help support them in a lengthy career at sea. Their set of needs are totally different than what we have seen in the past.
“At home, they can buy whatever they need at the click of the button so it’s important that they have that same level of access while away at sea. If we have apps to meet their training needs, we should be ensuring they are suitable for smart phones or tablets.”
International company MCTC provides the full spectrum of catering management services to vessels, from recipe planning, ordering provisions, and budgeting, along with a range of catering and nutrition training courses for galley staff. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle with fitness and mental health initiatives.
MCTC provides all its training services via its fully digital platform Estia, backed up by face-to-face support, including trade tests, onshore training, and vessel visits, which Mr Schroeder believes are still crucial for seafarers’ success.
“There are obviously certain aspects of training that should still be held face-to-face, and I think it is important to make sure we don’t completely eradicate that. But there is a big difference in crew in their late 20s or 30s and those in their 60s.The latter still want to work off excel spreadsheets and not off their phone, but seafarers in their 60s won’t be at sea in the long-term.
“On the other hand, some of our clients are struggling to get good internet on board. I am pleased the IMO Is really encouraging ship owners and managers to provide good internet onboard, to not only help crews connect with their loved ones but to really provide an Internet of Things infrastructure onboard.”