During the last World Maritime Day on September 25, 2016, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon sent a message: “Maritime education holds the future of shipping in its hands”. According to the International Maritime Organization, if the global fleet increases in size by 70% between now and 2030, the number of officers needed should increase by up to 850,000. Subtracting officers that will retire, it will be necessary to recruit and train around 600,000 new officers, in the order of some 40,000 each year.
Therefore, we face a growing demand for seafarers in an increasingly globalized world that requires trade with higher levels of safety, environmental concern and sustainablity.
In addition, the design of the vessels is ever more innovative, with a continuous development aimed at presenting a hightech working environment. Moreover,nowadays naval architects are designing vessels with new propulsion engines, such as LNG, and seafarers have to face new challenges navigating in harsh conditions or new facilities. In these cases, officers are facing continuous change, which requires a training adequate to combating these challenges.
Real-time simulation centres are an essential part of the seafarer training in this area. It is the most advanced training tool coming out of universities, offering specific training programs to professionals throughout their professional careers.