Clyde Marine Training are the Gold Sponsors of the UK Chamber’s annual Summer Lunch.

Here Director Colin McMurray argues the shipping community has a responsibility to protect its seafarer’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

A career at sea is a life less ordinary.  Choosing to become a seafarer provides abundant opportunity, not just to travel and develop meaningful relationships, but to learn new skills and build a successful career.  We should all be proud to work in an industry where those from all background and walks of life can succeed.

 But it is clear that training providers and employers need to consider the varying needs of our seafarers that stretch beyond salaries and career progression.

 That is why Clyde Marine Training have become partners in the Wellness @ Sea programme, championed by the Sailors Society. The Wellness @ sea programme looks to address the health of seafarers, focusing not only on their physical health, but also their mental and emotional wellbeing, and CMT are the first Cadet Training Organisation to provide such a scheme.

 The aim is to take our cadets on a journey of self-exploration, creating a space where they can grow and starts a meaningful conversation on how to improve relationships their colleagues, friends and loved ones, and is a positive first step in building communities on board vessels.

 The welfare of cadets is paramount to us as a company, but through programmes like this the industry will benefit with improved cadet retention and increased productivity.  The scheme is aimed at maritime companies, professionals and training establishments across the globe – and has already been implemented in South Africa, China, the Philippines, India and Ukraine – and is available at two levels: Officer and Cadet Programme.

 Our cadets will be provided with their own log in details, presenting them with a range of resources on one site, and the ability to for personal, course and technical support.  A chat-room and forums are also available, increasing links and communication with other cadets/seafarers.

 We appreciate that a cadet’s time is precious, and therefore the courses have been designed to allow completion as a whole or in selected modules, and consists of five modules which include social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual wellness. 

 We have seen in the last few years, many positive steps being introduced to remove the stigma around mental health and  improve the well-being of seafarers, and we firmly believe that the addition of this programme will reinforce the progress being made and allow focus on those entering the industry from the first time, who often find the challenge of being at sea the most difficult.

 This is just a first step, however, and we look forward to working closely with companies like Wellness at Sea and the Sailors Society to continue progress in this area.