Larisa Yeroshkinа


New technologies that are rapidly gaining the authority in the shipping industry are stimulating the education sector to modernize traditional training programs. The Nautical Institute (NI) is also actively moving in this direction.

NI President — Captain Nick Nash FNI and Vice President of the Institute — Captain Duncan McKelvie FNI told the Shipping magazine about the conditions under which seafarers from Ukraine will be in demand in the world’s shipping in 5 and and in 25 years period.

Members of the Nautical Institute live in 126 countries, and the Institute itself has more than 55 branches around the world. In Ukraine, the branch NI has been operating on the basis of the National University «Odessa Maritime Academy» (NU «OMA») since 2000. The honorary secretary of NI is Professor of Odessa Maritime Academy Vladimir Torskiy FNI.

The participation of representatives of the head office in the international forum «Education, Training and Employment of Seafarers (ETC), which conducts annually by NU «OMA» in the sea capital of Ukraine – Odessa, has become a good tradition yet.

Seafarers should study continually

The ETС2019 Forum, which took place on June 05-06 at the Odessa Maritime Station, was no exception, especially since this year the event was coincide with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of NU «OMA».

This time, the Vice President of the NI, Captain Duncan McKelvie, who represented the president of the NI, visited Odessa with an official visit. Captain Duncan is one of the six vice-presidents of the institute. He explains such a number of colleagues holding this position by the fact that the NI is an international organization with a large number of branches all over the world, which implies the active participation of the organization’s board in the activities of all its branches.

«The Nautical Institute is represented in more than 126 countries of the world. We regularly correspond with branches, participate in all events, meetings on our projects, as well as seminars, conferences, etc. Thanks to this, we can combine efforts to achieve all goals in the implementation of plans and ideas, » says Captain Duncan.

Great importance has forums and conferences where you can hear interesting and important reports on new technologies and trends in global shipping. The received information, new contacts – all this is summed up and allows us to develop constructive recommendations, emphasizes the Vice President of the NI. Actually, therefore, the international forum «Education, Training and Employment of Seafarers» was constantly in focus of the Nautical Institute.

«I really liked the forum. Participating in it, I took some great moments for reflection. The notice of a young cadet who said that he wants to become a seafarer, because «this is an honorable profession and it would bring him position and respect in society» is the best thing I could hear during intercourse. We would very much like all future seafarers to think so! » – McKelvieshared his impressions about the ETC forum.

Demand for the shipping industry in recent years has increased significantly, respectively, the need for qualified personnel has increased, the captain said. In this regard, Ukraine, as one of the main suppliers of labor in the global maritime labor market, is in a priority. «I worked with Ukrainian seafarers many years ago. They are among the most qualified professionals in the world. True, earlier (in the times of the USSR – ed.) There were some difficulties with crossing the border and going abroad, but everything is already in the past. And the world fleet needs for qualified personnel, such as sailors from Ukraine, » adds DuncanMcKelvie.

Talking about the future plans of NI, the raising of professional level of seafarers is a priority. «Analyzing trends in shipping, we see that seafarers should be more awared of a new technologies, studying in depth everything connected with this. Further professional development is the main thing that the Nautical Institute should work on. Our difference is that we offer not just technologies, but full-fledged training courses that are available to every sailor, » emphasizes the Vice President of the NI.

The institute offers a number of short-term courses (2-3 days), which can be useful and interesting for seafarers as well as for managers of shipping and crewing companies. In addition, each member of the Institute has the opportunity to take advantage of one of the 26 training programs prepared by VIDEOTEL company.

Speaking about the importance of training, Captain Duncan addresses directly to seafarers: «You must study, reach a new level of professionalism on a regular basis, and gain knowledge more than just the understanding and requirements of the STCW Convention. »

Those who today learn the basics of navigation in the alma mater, DuncanMcKelviealso recommends to accumulate and update knowledge: «This is a great opportunity for future seafarers to unite with the industry and achieve professional results. It is also important not to forget to continue training, because changes in modern shipping are happening very quickly, respectively, and the requirements are increasing. »

NI President has been visited Odessa twice

The President of the Nautical Institute is currently captain Nick Nash, who in 2018 accepted an honorary post from his predecessor, captain David Schneider (interview with him was published in the Shipping magazine No. 6, 2018). Prior to that, he served as Vice President and Senior Vice President of the NI and is also an active member of the board of the institute.

In addition, Nick Nash is the senior captain of Royal Princess passenger ship (3,650 passengers) owned by one of the world’s largest cruise travel companies Carnival Corporation’s. He also teaches at the maritime training center in Amsterdam, where he also lectures on BRM and Shiphandling.

Captain Nash’s marine career began 42 years ago. «I «escaped» at sea in 1977 as a sailor to the shipping company Port Line / Cunard, which owned ships for the transport of general cargo, oil tankers and container ships. After 9 years on cargo ships, I joined the Royal Auxiliary Fleet as 3rd officer, and served in the fleets of oil tankers and amphibious ships in support of the Royal Navy. In 1988, he joined the Master’s programme and in 1989 joined P & O / Princess Cruises as the 3rd officer. In 1997 I was promoted to the captain of the state, and in 2002 to the captain, » the president said about yourself.

In 1990 Nick Nash visited Odessa port, as a third officer, and in 2003 – as a captain of a cruise ship.

For his contribution to the highly professional training of maritime personnel, he was awarded the British Merchant Navy medal.

Combining the work of the NI President and the acting captain is not easy, but he succeeds in this. «Fortunately, my wife understands me. On vacation I travel a lot, I visit branches of the NI and institute members around the world, and when I am at sea, I meet pilots, captains of other ships, port authorities, » says Nick Nash.

Focus on skills

Traditionally, the Nautical Institute supports the ETC forum, and its representatives take an active part in the event. «Focusing on skills for the future in shipping is very important to us. The development of increasing levels of automation raises many questions for seafarers, and the Nautical Institute is at the center of these discussions, » explains the president of the NI.

Speaking about the tasks of the organization for the near future, Nick Nash confirms the words of his colleague – Captain Duncan McKelvie: «We continue to work very actively, thanks to our dynamically positioned qualification. More recently, we have developed several training courses, thanks to which we can contribute to professional standards. »

At the head office, they have high hopes for the separation of NI in Ukraine. «Our dissemination of best practices through the branch network is very important and is one of the reasons for having a large number of branches. Why is the branch in Ukraine so strong? Because he participates in academia and in professional networks, » says Captain Nash.

«We would like to see evidence of young leadership in the industry and hope that in Ukraine it will be supported at the state level. With the support of specialized academies and a strong professional community, such as the Nautical Institute, seafarers from Ukraine will continue to be highly appreciated, » emphasizes Nick Nash.

In 2022, the Nautical Institute will celebrate its 50th anniversary. «We will have a number of global meetings and conferences where we will present our professional vision. Closer to the date we will define key themes, but today we understand that they can be excellent in different parts of the world, » the president shares ideas on the upcoming event. It is quite possible that he adds that the Nautical Institute (1972-2002) book will also be republished by the anniversary date.

For now, the 75th anniversary of the National University Odessa Maritime Academy is on the agenda, on its basis the Nautical Institute of Ukraine was opened in Ukraine in 2000 – as a branch of the NI, which will celebrate 20 years next year.

«What do you wish for the academy, the rector – Professor, Dr. Mykhaylo Miyusov

and the сadets? » – ask the traditional question in such cases.

Captain Nick Nash’s response is concise and at the same time exhaustive: «My colleagues and I wish the rector and the team he leads all success in the future. Success will be based on the provision of high-quality training for future shipping challenges. Ukraine is an important center for seafarers all over the world, and the Odessa Maritime Academy plays the first role in this. »


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