Nobody would think of fitting incompatible equipment or machinery into a ship, so why not take exactly the same care when recruiting, hiring, training and retaining seafarers? This is the theme of Alert! the International Maritime Human Element Bulletin, in its latest issue.
Getting things wrong can be catastrophic, as shown by a case study which tracks a serious injury to a seafarer, illustrating his lack of appropriate training and competence when asked to undertake tasks beyond his skills. Earlier issues of Alert! highlighted the importance of experience, competence, best design, a safe and secure working environment, fair terms of employment and leadership. These issues are now brought together to show the importance of the interaction of people with other individuals, ships, systems and machinery.
The bulletin shows how crucial it is to attract and retain talent and details key performance indicators to demonstrate how companies can measure management performance in dealing with the human element. It points out that matching people with their ships is a serious and complex matter that should not be taken lightly.
The management of competence and the development of individuals to ensure that they have all the right skills and experience for the job in hand are reviewed through the eyes of a major crew manager. A second, practical article considers the development of technical best practice through the identification of skill requirements and the design of staffing arrangements to address continuous improvement.
The importance of mentoring, which is recognised as a valuable adjunct to training programmes and is now being encouraged by The Nautical Institute and others in the industry, is also dealt with in this bulletin. While the advantages of mentoring are many and well-understood, it is often under-utilised because of work pressures, the changing workforce and other operational constraints. This article encourages a second look at this important method of transferring both skill and experience between generations.
The overall theme of Alert! No.31, said Editor Commodore David Squire FNI, is human resources – fitting the correct peg into the correct hole. In his introduction he emphasises the importance of having the right number of people with the correct mix of skills and experience – and familiarity with the ship – to keep the ship and all aboard her safe.
The Alert! Project – launched in October 2003 – is a campaign to improve the awareness of the human element in the maritime industry. This is a Nautical Institute project, sponsored by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust.
Further information about the human element awareness initiative, and electronic copies of Alert! can be found at www.he-alert.org.
The Nautical Institute is the international representative body for maritime professionals and others with an interest in nautical matters. It provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional standing and knowledge of members who are drawn from all sectors of the maritime world.
Founded in 1972, it is a thriving international professional body, with over 40 branches world-wide and some 7, 000 members in more than 110 countries.
The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (LRET) is an independent charity that was established in 2004. Its principal purpose is to support advances in transportation, science, engineering and technology education, training and research worldwide for the benefit of all. It also funds work that enhances the safety of life and property at sea, on land and in the air. The LRET focuses on four categories:
- pre-university education: through appropriate organisations, promotes careers in science, engineering and technology to young people, their parents and teachers
- university education: through universities and colleges, provides undergraduate and post-graduate scholarships and awards at first degree/masters levels to students of exceptional ability
- vocational training and professional development: supports professional institutions, educational and training establishments working with people of all ages
- research: funds existing or new centres of excellence at institutes and universities
The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust, Registered Charity No. 1111853, 71 Fenchurch Street, LondonEC3M 4BS, UK – el: +44 (0)20 7709 9166 Email: email@example.com