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Further training and new skills required for the green transition and maritime safety

The need for further education and training of seafarers for the green and digital transition, as well as the commitment of the Greek maritime community to cooperate in addressing common challenges through sharing of technical know-how, experience and best practices, were highlighted by the qualitative data of HELMEPA's 2022 Refresher Training Program. The program was implemented by the Maritime Training Center (186 hours of training) with the active participation of 160 shipping companies and organizations.



2023 perissoteri epimorfosi nees deksiotites 1


Such synergy on training and skills development is of great importance, as recent surveys estimate that approximately 800,000 seafarers will require training on the new zero-carbon fuels and digital technologies, while the crewing needs of the Greek-owned fleet alone are estimated at 3,500 new seafarers per year.


A total of 35 HELMEPA workshops and seminars in 2022 were attended by 3,121 officers of merchant marine (bridge and engine), the Hellenic Navy and Coast Guard, shipping executives, students of Merchant Marine Academies (MMA) and HELMEPA alumni.


The increased participation of foreign crews and students of the Merchant Marine Academies is also noteworthy. Aiming to raise environmental awareness among the new generation of seafarers, a two-day seminar was organized for 300 bridge and engine cadets of the Merchant Marine Academy of Aspropyrgos on the safe handling of containers, dry cargo and liquefied natural gas (LNG), in collaboration with HELMEPA member companies Costamare Shipping and Gaslog Ltd. Additionally, HELMEPA is compiling a new publication on "Marine Environment Protection” following an assignment by the Eugenides Foundation and the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy for the introduction of the relevant course in MMAs throughout Greece.


The consolidated results of the 2022 Refresher Training Program and the main elements for upgrading HELMEPA’s overall training proposal were presented to 31 members of the Training Committee and representatives of Class Societies and P&I Clubs (December 9, Piraeus Marine Club) by the Association’s Head of Strategy & Development, Mr. Costas Triantafillou, who thanked all member companies for their contribution to this unique voluntary training and skills development model. The event also included the announcement of HELMEPA’s new educational digital platform with the support of member company SQLearn and a presentation of the expanded capabilities of the Maritime Training Center's 'Nautis Class A Standard' Bridge Simulator, which was recently upgraded with the kind support of member companies Gaslog Ltd, Drylog Ltd and Hellenic War Risks.


Moreover, during the meeting participants were presented with the key findings of an international survey conducted by HELMEPA and The Nautical Institute, in collaboration with Maritime Learning Systems, regarding the educational needs and concerns of seafarers for the green and digital transition of shipping. The discussion was moderated by the Head of the Training Committee, Capt. John Drakogiannopoulos, DPA/CSO of Costamare Shipping.


Crew fatigue, the effects of the pandemic on the mental health of seafarers and the need to strengthen maritime safety culture, as well as the additional responsibilities and tasks brought about by new legislative requirements are key elements that equally concern seafarers and shipping executives according to the results of the survey, which can be viewed in detail here.