Q1 2020: Frustration About Training

The latest Seafarers Happiness Report is a special focus on the impact of COVID-19 on seafarers. We did ask our usual set of questions…and here we find out the answer to the enquiry about…How happy about the training you receive?

  • 6.65 down from 6.75

There appeared to be more frustration evident in the responses on training than has been the norm. The concerns related to three key areas, training onboard, the standard of distance/computer-based training (CBT), and the impact of having to attend training courses on leave.

The provision of training onboard seemingly falls very much into the good, bad and ugly categories. Where it is good seafarers are extremely pleased to be taught by their fellow crew and officers onboard. These tend to record the highest happiness figures, as they report learning important skills and the opportunity to put them into practice. Such training develops and fosters a positive atmosphere onboard.

Where the training is “bad” there is a sense that crew are merely going through formalities. One senior seafarer stated, “no one is actually interested in teaching or learning, because what people are interested is to just finish their job and get inside cabins”. There were also comments about perceived weaknesses in online and distance learning solutions, with respondents saying some courses are not good enough.

Then comes the “ugly”. Seafarers wrote about abuse and bullying at the hands of their fellow crew. “If training is name calling, it’s hard to learn”, said one. Another claimed that he was sworn at and abused for not knowing things. Naturally the happiness of levels of those experiencing such abuse are extremely low and it shows the impact of poor leadership and management onboard.

Away from the ship, there seems to be a major issue with training creeping into seafarers’ leave. While refresher training was a bone of contention for many. Some saw that such courses are a waste of time, as “nobody knows more than a sailing seafarer, especially a lecturer who has not sailed in the last 10 year”.

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