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Seably announces next steps in blended maritime training

Andrea Lodolo, Seably CEO, discusses the use of content creators with digital training platforms …

Seably is a Swedish digital training platform for the maritime industry, owned by the Swedish Shipping Association, with Andrea Lodolo announced as the new CEO in 2021. SuperyachtNews speaks exclusively to Lodolo about whether the maritime industry is up to speed with the digital revolution and what Seably can now present to the superyacht training sector. 

“The global pandemic has shown the shipping sector that remote operations are the way forward. We believe Seably is the first maritime digital marketplace that brings together content and teaching skills from seafarers, educationalists, industry specialists, insurers, surveyors, and many other related service providers. We aim to offer anyone associated in the maritime sector the opportunity to learn at their own pace and with easy access, via a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone.”

A key differentiator for Lodolo is that the Seably system allows a superyacht or management company to build its own vessel and operational profile-specific training course. “We have developed a software platform that allows any superyacht or management company to build its own training in a cloud system and then assign the training to the crew, who can attend remotely. A superyacht can build their own course on anything from the code of conduct, to ship familiarisation, and up to guest and owner relations.”

While digital training solutions are offered across many marine industry sectors for non-STCW courses, they are often not taken as seriously as in-class training, and due to a lack of accountability on some, shortcuts can be taken. Busy crew and yacht schedules do not always accommodate the requirements for true retention of an online course, despite how theoretically important it may be. It is not a trade secret that if copy and paste is an option for a course, it is often the route taken. In recognition of this, Lodolo highlights Seably’s steps to help ensure uptake and avoid potentially harmful legal exposure. “The system also uses facial recognition technology so that the management company is certain who is taking the training. This is especially relevant for port state control, as there is legal validity even for non-regulatory training, such as ship familiarisation, for example.”

“In the past, a management company needed to build and provide its own training via brute force. In the case of our system, we have a dynamic platform of training that is constantly updated.” Says Lodolo.

The dissemination of information is unrecognisable today if compared to the pre-internet age. Educational and higher learning institutions are behind the curve in many ways, with maritime training being perhaps further restricted by flag state controls. If one wants to quickly learn a task of medium complexity, YouTube is often the first port of call, not the library or a textbook. The term ‘content providers’ is closely associated with the digital age of information dissemination; this is also how Lodolo defines how third party contributors are encouraged to share their knowledge with Seably, and he hopes, the wider industry. “We have a series of content providers, many of whom are ex-lecturers and people with extensive seagoing experience, who have joined the platform and who contribute courses to the platform. In turn, they make money as part of the shared economy, where we share the revenue from the licenses to the content provider.”

There is a similarity between a commercial tanker and a large superyacht for standards such as the Code Of Safe Working Practices (COSWP); however, as Lodolo explains, Lodolo and Seably hope to provide an added layer of vessel-specific training to improve the safety standards on board. “By using a wide range of content providers, we can create particular courses. For example, although enclosed space entry, as per COSWP, is theoretically the same for all vessels in terms of the threat to life, many superyachts have their own specific considerations. We have a tool that allows each training to be vessel-specific, and we want to present the training with the required professionalism.” As Lodolo continues, he also sees a missed opportunity through the loss of experience as crew move between vessels:

“There is a lot of embedded knowledge in the superyacht industry. There has been an attitude in the past; that what happens at sea stays at sea, but we think that it is time to bring as much of the experience back as we can and share it as much as possible.”

When asked about the level of course that Seably aims to provide, Lodolo is measured. “The training courses are non-STCW at this stage. The superyacht industry has a huge amount of non-regulatory courses. We are working very hard with a lot of superyachts industry players to onboard content and at the Monaco Yacht Show, will present this to the public.” 

 

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