Maritime Skills Academy Launches Its Innovative Survival Complex In Dover

Taking place on Thursday 8 th September, Maritime Skills Academy celebrated the launch of its specialist training facility; showcasing all that the state-of- the-art Academy has to offer to key industry guests.

An integral part of the Viking ‘Family of Companies, the Academy provides dynamic training, with its expert in-house trainers delivering bespoke courses, which encompass the diversity of the maritime industry: including cruise ships, superyachts, renewable support vessels and the oil & gas sector.

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The new Complex, situated in Dover, has excellent transport links, both nationally and internationally – perfectly located for global shipping clients and maritime professionals seeking world class training.

Incorporating training and conference facilities, the Complex will enable MSA to extend the range and number of courses it offers, including a wide portfolio of MCA accredited Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) courses; together with refresher training, professional development, and business to business services. Additionally, through recent partnership with Aviation specialists, MAST, the Academy will be delivering a full suite of MCA accredited Helideck Safety Training courses.

Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE, Chief Executive, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, officially opened the Complex, together with Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping and Dieter Jaenicke, Chairman and Founder of Maritime Skills Academy.

Welcoming guests to the official launch, Dieter Jaenicke expressed his delight at showcasing the Academy, and thanked the individuals who made it all possible. Talking about future plans for the Maritime Skills Academy, Dieter discussed phase two of the development, and the exciting future plans to come for the Academy; remarking that, through these innovative improvements, MSA would be putting Dover, and East Kent, on the map for maritime training.

Commenting on the UK’s position as global leader in maritime training, and thanking the Jaenicke family for their substantial contribution to the training sector, Guy Platten said: “The Jaenicke family has done so much for UK shipping and the maritime community, and I’m sure will continue to do so, for generations to come.

“All of you recognise that the UK needs to enhance its training capability, and that the private sector has a role to play. What you recognise is that training, by its very nature, has to evolve and meet the needs of the industry not only as it is today, but as it will be tomorrow.

“It’s just not about the physical building, the excellent trainers, and even the students themselves.

It’s about what this complex represents. In this town, indeed, in this country, with such a long maritime tradition, you have literally built our future. Imagine the thousands of people that will come through here, who will leave this building and use the skills they have learned on every ocean, and every continent on earth. That is exciting. For them personally, for Viking, for all of us.”

Closing the speeches, Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE, spoke on the importance of the UK maritime training sector, and officially declared the Academy open, he said: “Thank you very much for the opportunity to be the person who formally opens this fantastic training facility, I’m very grateful and privileged for this opportunity.

“I’m here not only on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, but also for the work of the Government. Our Government, at the moment, takes very seriously the importance of the UK’s Maritime sector as a whole. The sector contributes over 11 billion pounds a year to the UK’s economy, and over 120,000 directly employed jobs from maritime. They commissioned a rather large study last year, called the Maritime Growth study, to see whether we could in some ways, boost the UK’s maritime economy, and therefore money, jobs and livelihoods. A year on from the end of that study, I can comment on a few things that bring those recommendations to light. What’s interesting from Dieter’s point of view, is that no fewer than half of the recommendations, nine of the eighteen, were directly levelled at the maritime skills and training industry. It’s thriving here in the UK; depending on the vitality and imagination of people like Dieter, who bring it to life – but of course it’s not just in the UK where it’s sought. We are currently, as an approving agency, already checking and approving courses, not only in the UK, but in much of Europe. What this tells you is that the UK is still seen as a leading Maritime nation in terms of the training it delivers.”

Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE continues to speak about the broader maritime sector, and the plans to expand the UK flagged merchant fleet, commenting: “A sizeable, high quality, nationally flagged fleet, supports the strategic needs of the great, trading nation that we are. Let’s not forget that.”

With the last of the glorious summer weather on side, guests had the opportunity to tour the brand new Academy; which included live demonstrations from the fire-fighting ground and weather-effects pool; enabling them to view the world class facilities first-hand. A delicious buffet was served, while an afternoon of networking took place as guests continued to enjoy leisurely touring the complex.

Commenting on the success of the launch, Mark Jaenicke, Recruitment and HR Director at MSA, said: “We were delighted with the amount of individuals that could make the opening and share with them our amazing new facility. We felt very proud as a family to showcase what we have achieved here in Dover. The feedback from industry professionals was great and we look forward to opening our doors to the Maritime Skills Academy.”

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