“We had to expand because our classrooms had been full [and] we’ve obviously had more demand from the industry for regulatory training due to the new STCW requirements,” explains Morley.
The expansion isn’t solely down to volume, however. Yachting – and the training that comes with it – is changing. “Training really is becoming much more technically advanced, and technology has increased the ability to help students with some of the navigation and the dynamic positioning. So we really felt the need to expand on our simulation department and offer more hands-on, real-world training to our students,” says Morley.
"We really felt the need to expand on our simulation department and offer more hands-on, real-world training to our students."
In addition to the simulators already at MPT, the expansion will see three new Class A simulators and an engine room simulator. Training both yacht crew and commercial crew, MPT has ensured its simulator facility expansion will cater to both areas of maritime training, and includes some commercial-focused simulators that Morley believes will become more appealing to today’s superyacht crew. “Dynamic positioning is becoming something that more and more yacht captains are asking about as yachts get bigger, so we have full capabilities for dynamic positioning. We train every week on dynamic positions here at MPT, so that’s an exciting new programme,” explains Morley. “The new area will really be dedicated to the high-tech type of training. All our classrooms will be integrated into the simulators, so it will be a really exciting expansion for us,” she adds.
Construction began in October and the training school is hoping to open around late spring and early summer 2015. “Of course we’ll have our huge grand opening in time for boat show season next year, but we expect to be fully operational in the new facility by June 2015,” says Morley.
Fort Lauderdale is one of the industry’s crew training hubs, and there’s no doubt that the crew are excited about what will soon be on offer. “I think [our candidates] are as excited as the staff about seeing something new and fresh,” concludes Morley. “It will be wonderful.”