On Wednesday 6 March, the ProCrew team organised a third Industry Consultation Seminar, in order to update collaborating partners from industry on the state of play of the project and also to get feedback on the work done so far. Participants included representatives from the Malta Maritime Forum, Manoel Island Yacht Yard, MBR publications, Melita Marine, Ocean Skies, C&N Marina (Birgu), Valletta Cruise Port and Transport Malta (the State regulator of land, sea and air transport services).
The proceedings kicked off by Dr Mario Cardona, MCAST Deputy Principal, who introduced the team and gave an overview about ProCrew. Ing Stephen Sammut, Director of the Institute of Engineering and Transport, delved into more detail about the Yacht Hotel Services courses. Mr Eugenio Busuttil explained the Deck Officers courses, whilst Ing Godwin Caruana highlighted the contents of the Marine Engineering courses.
Ing Sammut then opened the floor for feedback. An interesting discussion took place and most of the stakeholders contributed with their ideas and their comments. The session ended with a light networking lunch.
On 8 April 2019, the ProCrew team including prospective lecturers, visited Palumbo Superyachts Malta Ltd, a strategically located facility dedicate to the servicing of superyachts sailing in the Mediterranean, with exceptional infrastructure, offering a high level of skills and hospitality. Operating as a dedicated super yacht facility since 2002, the Yard is located in a unique setting within the Grand Harbour of Malta.
The area of more than 45,000 square metres includes a 160 metre-long graving dock, a canopied 140 metres graving dock and more than 400 metres of quay for alongside, afloat repairs. Shore services include workshops, storage facilities and offices for the administration and crew. The docks and quays are served with rail mounted cranes, coupled with the extensive space available for storage, mobile cranes, forklifts and hydraulic platforms which enable the facilities to cater with ease for large vessel requirements.
The training session:
The training session kicked off with an introduction about ProCrew by the Deputy Director in charge of MCAST’s Centre for Maritime Studies, Mr Eugenio Busuttil. The host at the facility, Mr Simon Zammit, General Manager of Palumbo Super Yacht Facilities, gave a brief description of the core activities of Palumbo Super Yachts. This was followed by an intense training session that delved into the following areas:
• Overall responsibilities of the yacht Master (Captain) and his position vis-à-vis the owners of the yacht;
• Administrative status and role of the yacht Master (Captain) with respect to operative orders;
• Problems arising during crew control, communications and onboard environment due to potential multicultural nature of the yacht crew;
• Hosting guests on board, ethics and behavior;
• Crew general training and retention;
• Overview of crew nationalities
• Hospitality programmes organized directly by the crew;
• Maintenance of yachts when on shore;
• Cooperation between yacht crew and shipyard personnel;
• Processes of working on a diesel engine particularly on a superyacht;
• Processes of working on a main propulsion shaft in a dry-dock;
• Problems arising during the superyachts’ maintenance schedule;
• Intensive assessment of fuels and lubricants;
• Classification Societies and their impact on yacht operations;
• Getting to know the equipment on-board and courses given by equipment manufacturers.
While going around the facilities, the participants in this training session could see maintenance and servicing works taking place on super yachts docked at the facilities. Participants could wee such dock work as painting, ranging of chains, engineering shaft-work preparation and a variety of shore services.
The next milestone is a train-the-trainer course focused on the use of on-line platforms for blended learning methodologies. The aim is to be able to provide training to mariners through on-line virtual learning environments, minimizing face-to-face teaching to make upskilling more convenient and accessible.