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Setting the course

Date: 26/02/2019

MCAST has partnered with the City of Glasgow College and the Malta Maritime Forum to create a professional crew training programme for superyachts called Pro Crew. This project will be co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The Pro Crew project is of significant importance as it will offer local and foreign students the opportunity to attain qualification in various levels of proficiency in the management of superyachts. Courses will be organised for deck, engineering and hospitality operations on-board superyachts.

The purpose of Pro Crew is to create opportunities for those interested to obtain qualifications necessary to work in the superyachts industry.

Over the years Malta has become an important centre for yachting with important investments in new facilities involving yacht marinas being made over time. Such yacht marinas have a multiplier effect to the business involving other trades. 

Indeed Malta started attracting superyachts because of the increased facilities in yacht marinas as well as its excellent facilities and location. Furthermore Malta has two superyacht maintenance and repair facilities which are very important when owners decide to winter their superyacht. 

Therefore the Pro Crew project will be an excellent addition to these services on offer as the crew of these yachts and superyachts would have an opportunity to continue their studies and further their education.

Pro Crew is a suite of courses developed under the large yacht code framework to provide STCW course requirements for the superyacht industry. They will be delivered on a bespoke platform developed by Mcast and the City of Glasgow College.

Malta currently does not offer a pathway for people wanting to work in the superyacht industry. Nonetheless there is currently a number of superyachts flying the Maltese flag. Indeed the Malta flag through its directorate has made important in roads to attract a large number of superyachts under its flag. The number of such registrations is expected to rise over time. 

MCAST expect to have all teams on board and working at full speed

As of 2018, Malta has over 800 superyachts (yachts that are over 24 metres in size) registered under its flag, a figure which indicates an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. Besides the economic investment that these registrations bring to Malta, they are also helping Malta consolidate its flag as a leading maritime destination, even for yachting.

The Pro Crew course will adopt a blended learning approaching, combining an online learning programme and classroom-based tuition and assessment.

This will allow flexibility in delivery so that even when they are at sea, students can progress their career. By completing online learning, students will gain a deeper knowledge of the subject area before going to college and sitting the exam. The programme developers are also looking at ways to incorporate an academic group award to recognise students’ achievement, which is an advantage if or when they want to change career direction and work ashore.

A professional team at the City of Glasgow College is developing the course materials. There is a dedicated team of subject experts, who along with learning technologies staff, are working on the classroom and e-learning packages. Their job is to create materials, which will allow a student to develop their skills at sea and in the classroom, providing them with the qualifications necessary for the superyacht industry.

Based on current financial estimates there is expected to be an increase of around 20 per cent in turnover in global business connected with superyachts. Hence these are exciting times for local businesses connected with this industry.

Therefore Pro Crew will be launched at a very suitable time when the market is strong. Mcast expect to have all teams on board and working at full speed. It’s anticipated that the courses would be offered to students as from early 2019 with April being set as the launching month.

By Michael Callus who is CEO and board member of the Malta Maritime Forum.

Source: Times of Malta

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