The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), in partnership with the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), hosted the 2019 Maritime Education and Training (MET) Conference and Workshop in Manila last February 21-22, 2019. This was done to manifest trends in maritime training in the Philippines into assets for the industry in the country.
More than 200 representatives hailing from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs), maritime training centers (MTCs), seafarer groups, research and course developers, instructors, and agencies were welcomed by MARINA Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. and IAMU Executive Director Takeshi Nakazawa.
These representatives took part in discussions about maritime training trends and the future of it from 2020 onwards. Innovations in education of Filipino seafarers and how it’s affecting the development of their skills were also discussed.
Global Maritime Education and Training (GlobalMET) Chairman Capt. Pradeep Chawla was one of the speakers who shared insights. He affirmed that the Philippines will continue being one of the top suppliers of capable seafarers in the next ten years.
Because of this, he emphasized the need for the Philippines to keep up with the latest advancements in maritime education. This is by improving teaching methods through digitization and gamification. Through these methods, Chawla expressed that future seafarers from the country may have greater abilities and skills. They can process a larger amount of data, focus better on pertinent issues, handle significant stress, be more assertive, and work effectively with remote teams.
Chawla also pinpointed the necessity for active seafarers to continue learning so they can become maritime instructors and trainers in the future.
Aside from this, MARINA’s 10-year maritime industry development plan (MIDP) was presented, including emphasis on the requirements for manpower to implement the MIDP’s eight priority programs.
IAMU also brought in Engr. Johan Ljungklint, Dr. Damir Zec, Mr. Vlado Fracic, and Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son to facilitate the open forum of the conference. The forum discussed lots of pertinent issues. These included the future of the shipping industry in the presence of autonomous and/or smart ships, and the development in maritime training through digitization. Cyber security and the expectations in maritime instructors were also key talking points.
The event ended with the commitment to forward and enhance the state of maritime training in the Philippines.
The MET Conference first came to fruition in 2016 because of a memorandum of cooperation between MARINA and IAMU. This was done to provide a means of discourse on how to advance maritime training in the Philippines.