A Spotlight On Our Partner – Stream Marine Training
As the year draws to a close and we reflect on its challenges, it’s also important to recognise how we overcame them.
We had the opportunity to interview Colin McMurray, Stream Marine Training’s recently appointed Group Managing Director, to find out exactly how the group have overcome adversity and adapted their training delivery in response to COVID-19 to ensure that Seafarers still have access to high quality training.
As such, SMT now offer an expansive range of webinars – giving you the chance to earn MCA STCW certifications from home, at a reduced cost. The new learning approach is flexible and safe, giving you the freedom to choose when you wish to complete practical exercises on-site, or when you’d rather complete the theoretical content online.
The courses start at £90 and cover everything from oil & chemical tanker cargo operations, to personal safety & social responsibility. You can explore the full range of courses on offer here.
Continue on for Colin’s full interview, in which he discusses where Stream Marine see the future of maritime training heading, and which products they’ll be releasing in light of their predictions.
To kick things off, can you give us a brief overview of SMT?
“The business itself revolves around the provision of world class training to the global maritime, oil, gas, renewables and construction industries. We cover subjects such as fire-fighting, sea survival, rescue craft and HSE training. Tied into that is Stream Marine Careers which focuses on managing cadet training programmes to ensure a long-term career path for the officers of the future. We also have a digital business which focuses on the future learning and delivery methods which all industries will require.
Our customers’ requirements come first. Quality and experience are very important elements of our service provision. We also optimise the efficiency of the training supply chain and providing an excellent training experience.”
It’s been a challenging year for everyone in the industry… what have been the biggest obstacles within maritime training?
“In the last couple of years, several reviews into the maritime pedagogy have started. However, nothing could have prepared the industry for the challenges that arrived with COVID 19. Our first challenge was to contact thousands of delegates to re-arrange their bookings to when we thought lockdown was going to end. This soon became a moveable feast! The second came in adapting a business which revolved around the traditional classroom methodology to a virtual training experience.”
How has SMT been able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape?
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, from the initial design to the delivery of courses and effective methods of working. Therefore, when lockdown happened, our technology enabled us to ensure timely communication and support for our valued delegates.
Using a challenge as an opportunity, we began the process of converting select courses to webinars. As such, we were one of the first maritime training organisations to be approved in the UK for virtual courses. It took a lot of research, testing and time to prepare a virtual solution that we felt would be effective as a learning method. We also needed to prove to our global customer base that our webinar courses would be as effective as classroom delivery.”
What’s been the biggest success of the business in 2020?
“Showcasing the experience and adaptability of the staff and the pure determination to continue to operate – just in a different way, must be the biggest success. Whilst webinars ramped up, we were already working on safely reopening our sites for Safety Critical Seafarer training in June. Our Glasgow Airport HQ has changed completely, as have our other training venues. We now have COVID and social distancing measures put in place keep everyone safe in a COVID secure environment. We have also implemented 3 major IT projects, including our recently launched automated booking system. To top it all, we also recently appointed several key staff who have had an immediate impact in the business, in the Group, including our Careers and Training divisions, and we are looking forward to further successes in 2021.”
We have seen some interesting advances in how training is delivered across multiple sectors, maritime included. How do you see the future of maritime training in the next 5-10 years?
“This is a fantastic question. We believe the next necessary steps for maritime training should be in the digitalisation of certification and adjusting course content and delivery methods to suit a given individual’s learning patterns and preferences. With our staff represented on the MNTB Board, Maritime Skills Commission and IAMI, we are well placed to assist with the changes that are coming.”
What new products will SMT be launching in light of this?
“We have already launched a partnership with Marine Learning Systems to deliver the World’s first “End-to-end Training Cycle Solution”. This covers all aspects from the competence/compliance needs analysis through constant assessment and skills/knowledge fade to recurring training. Coupling this with the science of the human brain’s learning patterns will ensure the right training is delivered to the right person, at the right time. We are also expanding our Careers division with several unique offerings so watch this space!”
What message do you have for our audience that you would like to share?
“Not to be too obvious, but please do stay safe and protect others around you. In times like this it is of paramount importance for everyone to do their bit to help. Seafarers are now recognised as Key Workers and are keeping the economy alive by delivering essential goods, may they all have fair winds and following seas.”