Scotland ‘to lead’ global seafarer training

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Plans are underway to create a transnational maritime university which will help address a major skills shortage in the maritime sector.

The Northern Maritime University (NMU) project will build a transnational network of universities in the North Sea region and is being led by the Transport Research Institute (TRI) team at Edinburgh Napier. It will culminate in December 2010 with the launch of the Northern Maritime University, offering transnational, multidisciplinary qualifications for the maritime industry.

The Scotland-led project involves universities in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. The team are currently piloting a transnational approach to study and approaching key stakeholders about industry involvement in the university.

Kevin Cullinane, Project Head and Director of TRI at Edinburgh Napier said: “There is a growing demand for education and qualifications in this industry. This is because maritime traffic is continuing to grow, more ports are being developed and the industry faces ever increasing environmental challenges.”

Gordon Wilmsmeier, Project Manager and Senior Research Fellow at TRI added: “This project, and the ultimate creation of the Northern Maritime University, is designed to meet this demand and provide maritime business managers with the skill set to cope with current and future challenges.

“It’s exciting to be leading this project from Scotland. This is a country that has a long standing relationship with the sea. It’s intertwined with our history and is a significant contributor to the Scottish economy, but at the same time there is an urgent need to further strengthen the Scottish maritime industry.”

The Northern Maritime University, when launched in December 2010, will deliver multidisciplinary qualifications focused to meet the needs of maritime industries today and in the future.

In addition to the creation of the Northern Maritime University, the project – which is part-funded by the EU-Interreg IVB North Sea Programme – it will establish a European area of research and innovation for the maritime industry and contribute towards the Lisbon objectives to make Europe ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world’.

The project commenced in April 2008 and will develop over 36 month with the aim to launch the Northern Maritime University (NMU) network in a sustainable structure by the end of 2010.

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