Training the Next Generation of Mariners

Are We Prepared?

Student Studying

Published Feb 20, 2015 9:40 AM by Dione Lee

Never before have we seen such exponential change in technology as we have in the last decade. It is not hard to become overwhelmed with the flow of information that’s constantly hitting us throughout the day. The experience may be unsettling, especially for those of us who haven’t grown up with it. Young adults, most notably the “Millennials”, seem to navigate these waters very well; in fact, they seem to thrive in this environment of constant stimuli, resulting in a different learning style than previous generations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the maritime industry is expected to grow upwards of 16% over the next 7 years. As the workforce declines, due to an aging population of skilled workers exiting the industry, the need to bridge the gap becomes critical. Are we prepared to effectively skill-up and retain the next generation of mariners?

Here are a couple of key points you might want to consider when developing a training plan.

Millennials want to succeed – labeled as “Trophy Kids”, now all grown-up and entering the workforce, they want a defined career path with expectations clearly spelled out.

Keep the information current – dated information is less tolerated by this crowd.

Factor in opportunity for honest feedback – they are used to their voices being heard and like to be part of the solution.

Keep it visual and fast paced – this group is tech savy and action oriented.

Give them the WHY to engage – so they can understand “what’s in it for them”.

Deliver shorter and more frequent sessions (longer if a competitive exercise ensues) – this generation is very resourceful and can easily fill in the blanks.

Statistical Data on Millennials

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.