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Maritime Workforce Must Embrace Tech

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Professionals in the maritime industry must embrace technological change to ensure they are prepared for the challenges of the future, according to a Sea Asia industry insight.

In the ‘Technology in Maritime: Dehumanising the Industry or Creating New Job Opportunities?’ report, launched today, industry leaders must work with educational institutions to ensure that the next generation of maritime professionals have the necessary opportunities to further enhance and improve their skills.

Speaking about the report, Ebsen Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, said this: “It is important that the maritime industry has the right people with the right skills to effectively harness new technologies.

“Initiatives like the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) are key to making sure that the current workforce has the opportunities to further enhance and improve their skills”.

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Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade UBM EMEA, emphasized the importance of utilising new technologies in the maritime industry: “We need to have a good understanding of the new skills needed in the industry and more importantly, where talent with these skills can be found so that we can be well-placed to attract them to work for our changing industry.

Kenneth Chia, Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) also spoke about preparing maritime workforces for the future but pointed out the importance of retaining a human element in operations.

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“It is more evident that technology is altering traditional maritime jobs and changing the types of skills that are needed in the maritime industry, as opposed to it completely removing jobs for the current workforce. 

“The instinctive knowledge of an experienced industry worker is hard to replace, even with advanced technology.

“For example, even though we may need a lesser number of crew members working on board a vessel with smart shipping technologies, a larger group of skilled employees is also needed to work onshore so as to remotely manage what is happening out at sea”.

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