Setting the course for non-seafarers in our industry

A new elearning course – Introduction to Shipping – has been developed by V.Group’s training business, Marlins and is aimed at non-mariners working in the shipping industry.

Shipping relies on shore-based teams such as accountants, crewing personnel, travel agents, procurement teams, IT departments and operational personnel – most of whom will never have sailed yet they are essential to the smooth running of the industry.

There are also many management and leadership roles, which require skills that are transferable from other industry sectors: not having started a career at sea should not be a barrier to recruiting employees for such positions. But where does a non-mariner start to understand the complex world of shipping?

“Newcomers to shipping are often unaware of its scale, its culture and may have had no prior industry specific training. It can feel frustrating to work in a shore-based role alongside former seafarers who have years of shipping experience but little time to explain how it works. While the internet is full of information you have to know the questions to ask in the first place,” says Catherine Logie, Marlins manager.

The introduction to shipping elearning course helps newcomers to the industry by describing clearly what shipping is and how it functions, explaining the critical role shipping plays in transporting 90 per cent of world trade.

In addition, the course introduces life at sea, covering everything from work and rest hours, typical shift patterns, communication systems as well as the roles and responsibilities of each member of the crew and the activities that take place when vessels are in port.

Learners are also introduced to the international requirements in place to protect crew and the marine environment, explaining the critical role of a safety culture. To enhance the learning experience, the course includes audio commentary, interactive tasks and quizzes.

“The course is not designed to be a complete guide to shipping,” adds Catherine. “Nothing can be a substitute for real experience, however it can help to bridge the gap, create better understanding between shore and seafaring roles and give some clarity for newcomers. Life at sea is unique and if you haven’t sailed, it’s hard to imagine. Speaking from personal experience as a non-mariner myself, I wish I had had an easily accessible elearning course like this to give me a foundation when I first joined the industry. We see this as complementary to induction content for shore-based staff to set them on the right course from day one.”

The course is available now on the Marlins website and Learning Management System: