Maritime Learning and Development Manager

NL 42 Maritime Learning and Development Manager

Mrs Dolan AET Learning and Development Manager

Mrs Gabrielle Dolan Manager, Learning & Development Sea Staff with a “Leading Provider of Maritime Transport”

I moved to Singapore a year ago with my husband and son
from the Isle of Man. I was really looking forward to the
opportunities the move would provide. Not long after our
move, the chance came up to work with a leading provider of
maritime transport (LPMT). I welcomed it with open arms as this
was an opportunity to work with a well-respected multi-national
company, doing a job that I loved and getting the chance to
develop my skills further.

Eagle San Diego

I have worked in the shipping industry since leaving further
education; initially starting my career with Wallem (later to
become V-Ships) then with Midocean (IOM) Ltd before moving
to Cyprus with Global Navigation Ltd. After leaving Cyprus,
I went to work with Bibby Ship Management (Western Europe)
Ltd, where I stayed for 7 years as the Training and Development
Manager (Sea staff). During my career, I have worked alongside
the Merchant Navy Training Board (UK), UK Maritime Colleges
and Nautilus International. I have also been lucky enough to
experience working alongside a previous Company Technical
Department and Senior Deck Officers, Maersk Training and
South Tyneside College to put together a Dive Support Vessel
Ship Handling, Command and Control course for the Senior Deck
Officers which eventually was hoped would be used for other
Companies. I have also worked closely with a previous Company
Technical Department and Back Deck Department for offshore
training requirements; working on specialized courses for the
particularly crucial and often life critical roles of Dive Technicians
looking after the lives of the deep sea divers, and putting together
Training Competency standards to adapt Trainee Mechanical
and Electrical Dive Technicians into the Offshore Fleet.
I have a very good relationship with the Isle of Man Flag Authority
with whom I have worked closely in the past on various issues,
including placement of Isle of Man cadets for sponsorship and
training berths. I have also had regular meet-ups with other
training providers and UK sponsoring companies, which has
enabled us to learn from each other and in turn has helped to
keep the industry training standards optimal. Being involved
with so many institutions and the networking it has provided,
increased my knowledge of the industry and my understanding
of how other companies work.
The LPMT offers the best standard of training and mentoring
to their sea staff, in turn making them an employer of choice.
It is a large company, with a large cadet in-take every year, and
a promotion from with-in policy. There is a very large training
matrix which covers all mandatory/
company and client specific training
for all sea staff, and they hold regular
workshops and seminars to ensure
that their seafarers are up-to date
with the latest requirements and safety regulations. The company
is very big on training and safety standards, which in 2014
directly resulted in zero LTI (lost time Injury) fleet-wide. Due to
the resources that go into training, the LPMT has very competent
and highly-skilled officers and ratings. They ‘train to keep’ and
certainly see the benefits. Most of the LPMT’s senior officers have
trained with them from cadets and the longest serving ratings
have been with the company since the beginning.
The LPMT welcomes female seafarers and currently has a female
C/E and C/O, with more progressing through the ranks. The LPMT
takes strides to fully support female seafarers a very refreshing
practice! In this male dominated industry, I think female seafarers
may face the challenge of having to prove themselves to their
peers more than their male colleagues do. The LPMT ensures that
as cadets, they send them out in pairs where possible to their
first ship. I believe it can be difficult and lonely for a new female
cadet onboard if she does not show that she can perform in the
same capacity as a male seafarer. Thankfully, things are changing
in the industry as more and more women are going to sea.
Other big issues women encounter are the inequalities and
unrealistic gender expectations of society which make juggling
a family and career difficult. The LPMT tries to overcome this
social barrier and works with its female seafarers to help find
solutions. They provide three years of maternity leave and
spouses can sail onboard the vessels with prior approval from
the office (and dependent on where the vessel is trading) as long
as the officer is either a senior officer or a junior officer holding
a superior ticket. There is often also the issue where a husband
may feel insecure about a seafaring wife onboard a vessel full
of men which may cause complications at home. The LPMT also
tries to achieve a good work life balance and these issues are
covered in their seminars which are held on a regular basis.
In the UK, Nautilus International runs regular sessions especially
for female seafarers to discuss issues they face in the industry
and work out ways to get passed them, and the LPMT holds
similar seminars. Regular visits are made to institutions to ensure
that the cadets are coping with life both at maritime institutions
and onboard; they proactively foster open communication with
their cadets and the same goes to all the officers and crew as
well. The Company also has a dedicated line of communication
for their female officers in case they have any confidential issues
they may need to discuss.
Now that an increasing number of women are choosing a career
at sea, vessel crews and the industry at large must adapt. With
leaders such as the LPMT proactively addressing the needs of
female seafarers, we are working on reducing typical gender
stereotyping, we have sexual harassment policies in place and
we are constantly working on improving training and education,
which is carried over in various workshops and seminars spread
out over the year. I firmly believe that the industry trend will
move closer to diminishing disparities onboard.

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