Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement: UPGRADES SKILLS REQUIRED BY STCW
In-house subject matter experts drummed nuances of professional skills at the Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) Fleet Leaders Meeting (FLM) on May 16-17 at the Diamond Hotel, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Focusing on human elements, the meeting concentrated on leadership, management, safety and inter-personal relations with an eye for the future.
Joseph Raluta, Director- Maritime Training Centre-Phil, explains on leadership and management skills under STCW. The merchant marine captain underscored these must be practiced even as a cadet and an officer since these are “… also a discipline actually and it should be improved through constant practice.”
John Pritchett, Corporate Manager - Fleet Personnel Training and Development, told the officers things as they are: “The whole business is based around you so you are the most important element today, tomorrow but also in the future of this company. That’s why we invest, spend time with you and make sure we are all doing the right thing that needs to be done.”
More than 40 deck and engine junior and senior officers participated at this year’s meeting, shared their thoughts and onboard experiences. They actively participated in presentations, discussions and group exercises to test strengths and limitations, how to deal with specific situations on-board, to identify what needs to be developed.
In addition, data and input collected in the two days, all participants were asked to share their feedback and suggestions via an electronic form after the FLM.
On the second day, two officers were selected to present their chosen topics. Capt. Christopher Ocampo picked ‘Shipboard Emergency Preparedness and Response’ while Chief Officer Carrel Atacador opted to talk about ‘personal safety as key to improving safety on board.’
Three BSM officers shared their viewpoints: Capt. Armando Santosidad, Director -Crew Service Center Phil; Alok Roy, Fleet Director- BSM Hong Kong and Andrew Cummings, Fleet Manager- BSM Singapore. They connected with the officers throughout the day, even during coffee breaks.
Santosidad reminded the officers to put safety on top of commercial pressure because at BSM, “… the highest priority is safety, one mistake, one error might be more expensive.”
Alok observed “… BSM has grown quite a bit over the last few years … their best managed ships are supplied with Filipinos because of their work culture and attitude.”
He added that while accidents create huge financial losses, “life is irreplaceable.” A damaged engine may cost much but could be repaired; yet, “…for life, it is no amount of money.”
Cummings further commented on MASS or autonomous ships which about seven companies are putting on the stiches as the technology is basically operational, “… The challenge for the industry is that equipment is not reliable yet…”
He said, crew is the biggest cost in operating a ship; the MASS technology is “incredibly expensive” as all equipment must be replaced, with duplicate and triple backups like an aircraft which is very expensive.
Then, the ship owners need to decide: change to autonomous ships or stay with actual, live seafarers? At the moment, both options are at high risk. However, if most decide for change due to better operations and less accidents, Cummings clearly advices, “I want to be part of the change. I want to change together.”
Fleet Manager James Yeap, Frontline Shipping in Singapore, was impressed by the recent BSM FLM, saying, “… I wish have attended more often. It’s good, I like the way it is being organized, very much focused on the crew. A lot of knowledge has been imparted.”
An integrated maritime solutions leader, BSM is backed by 135 years in the shipping industry, a preferred partner by those demanding quality services and professional excellence.
Its global operations include managing a ﬂeet of over 600 vessels, with 20,000 employees onboard and ashore delivering safe and efficient services through a network of 10 ship management, 26 crew service and six wholly owned maritime training centres across the world.