Posted by: Craig | April 25, 2008

Seafarer training

I’ve taken the opportunity to visit Chalmers, Goteborgs technical university and centre for marine education to get an understanding of the training and education given to apprentices. Similar to that I had, the training is about four years long, although here the apprentices leave with something called a degree, an improvement on the OND in nautical science I left college clutching as I headed towards my first posting as a third officer.

Here the breadth of education that is given is quite impressive, following a degree in Master Mariner, or Master Engineer, junior officers can do a two year masters, through distance learning, in maritime management. It’s the understanding that seafarers are more than an asset on a ship that is noticeable.

However the most noticeable course is the preparation course, which prepares youngsters for a life at sea, by sending them off to a ship for fifteen weeks of hands on learning. After the fifteen weeks, they can decided if it is a career for them, or just give up on the idea if it does not suit them. If nothing else it’s also a good way for parents to get rid of their teenage kids for fifteen weeks of eye opening living. 

The vessel these teenagers go on is ACL’s Atlantic Cartier, trading from Sweden and northern Europe to North America. I bet the North Atlantic in winter is as good as any trip you can get.


Chalmers also has one of the most advanced simulators, two bridge simulators that can either run independently, or linked together (vessel and tug for example). While I was there a group of navigators from a leading cruise company were there, learning about a new bridge manning concept, well not new, but new for me. The concept I was told began with Silja Lines and has been adopted by other cruise and ferry operators around the world. It’s basis on team management has caught the interest of Swedish Club due to the proven track record in reduced incidents with Star Cruises, which has also adopted the principals.




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