Seafarers are the core of all maritime trade and their expectations/perspectives alone should be at the centre of all solutions for maritime skills. Taking this standpoint, the editor has explored the issues of maritime skills with critical gaps following a framework of research methodology. The issue of critical gaps in maritime skills is further exacerbated due to the impact on seafarers caused by changes in – the ecosystem, status & relationship with stakeholders, technology, focus on renewable energy, anxiety levels and so forth. Furthermore, stakeholders can no longer ignore the fact that seafarers are leaving a seagoing career after working for only a few years. Therefore, there is a need for portability of skills to shore jobs. In addition one of critical gap pertains to female seafarers, who are crucial to plug the shortages but they need safe working environment.
The editor thereafter divided the researched critical gaps in maritime skills into four groups (Jain’s Model for Maritime Skills) – Panoptic, Social Intelligence, Upskilling & Reskilling for onboard vessels skills, and Portable Skills for future shore jobs. Panoptic and Social Skills are core skills required for both on board and shore jobs.
Thereafter, the editor embarked on a voyage to discover, persuade, collaborate with a number of exceptionally experienced subject-matter experts from 8 countries, from both deck and engine and from both genders to collaboratively pursue many mini-research projects across all selected maritime skills, adopting specific methodology to plug these critical gaps in maritime skills.
Dr., Capt. Vivek Jain is a Master Mariner, Barrister (England & Wales) and has PhD (International Law) (China). He is an alumnus of prestigious TS Rajendra, College of Nautical Science (India) and has pursued LLB (Hons.), LLM (Maritime Law), BVC from London, MBA(Norway), B.Sc. (N.Sc.) (India), PGCE (Compliance) (Singapore).