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New Training Resource from ICS Aims to Help Plug the Technology Gap on Board

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-The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a new resource designed to help ship operators recruit and develop on board personnel who are fully prepared to meet the demands of today’s high-tech modern vessels. The ICS On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) is an essential training companion for ETO cadets and their employers and gives seafarers operating under any flag a universally standard approach to track their training and career development.  

According to the latest ICS BIMCO Seafarer Workforce Report, when recruiting STCW certified seafarers, companies reported the highest levels of difficulty in ETO roles. They also warned of a shortage of officers with technical experience, especially at management level. In addition, electro-technical officer cadets have the lowest graduation rate of all the officers (74.4%), and 70% of maritime education and training institutions saw a need for improving electrical, electronic and control engineering training provision. 

The On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) helps shipowners and managers ensure compliance with STCW Convention regulations and helps ETO cadets understand the training required to develop their skills and competencies. Supervising officers can use the record book to make an objective evaluation of cadets’ training, and it provides employers with the confidence that cadets are developing the correct knowledge needed to be successful in the role.

Gordon Boyd, Senior Lecturer and Chartered Electrical Engineer acting as consultant to South Shields Marine School was a member of ICS’s expert group of reviewers. Gordon, who has developed and delivered electrical training courses for various major shipping companies and marine training providers including the Carnival group, BP and Shell, says:

“This record book and the systems to which it relates are essential for enhancement of technical progress, standardisation, and improvement of safety in the marine industry. It will help with consistency across marine electrical skill sets which will be beneficial to both employers and ETOs/electricians.”

ICS Senior Adviser of Manning & Training, Arvind Natrajan, also comments: “It is only recently that such highly skilled seafarers are in great demand due to the increase in ships built with complex electrical and electronic systems. The training tasks in the new Training Record Book will ensure that cadets make the best use of their seagoing service by highlighting their strengths and identifying areas for further training.”

The IMO STCW Convention requires that an ETO cadet’s seagoing service must be properly structured and recorded in a training record book approved by the maritime administration responsible for issuing certificates of competence. It cites the ICS On Board Training Record Books as an example of such documentation. For further information on the new On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) please visit ICS Publications.

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