Richard Turner CEO at Tapiit Live said the agreement is designed to transform seafarer training, slashing its costs and carbon footprint, while improving standards of teaching. Mr Turner said the deal will include the first live stream training package offered to close to 10,000 ships using Inmarsat’s high-speed broadband service Fleet Xpress, which will be available 24-hours-a-day, through a dedicated on-demand service, available worldwide without a fluctuating connection.
“This is a hugely exciting moment for seafarer training,” he said. “Tapiit saw a gap in the market as previously internet costs, with enough bandwidth to enable live streaming, were so high that it was thought live stream classroom-style training would not be available for 10 years – now we’re delivering it to close to 10,000 ships. Tapiit has done a lot of technical work in the background to compress the file size of the different platforms required for live streaming such as video, recording and presentations.
“As a result, we felt confident to approach Inmarsat with a technically robust product that would work on live stream – as there as so many poor alternatives with some companies attempting training at sea over patchy zoom signals. We wanted something that was fit for purpose and we were delighted that the Inmarsat team liked the idea. Inmarsat’s Fleet Connect dedicated bandwidth solution on its Fleet Xpress service, alongside Tapiit’s technical expertise, offers a training package specially designed by Tapiit and delivered from our studios, which can innovate and improve seafarer training fundamentally. This is a massive step forward for the industry as nothing beats classroom style learning. While e-learning is effective, live streaming is better as it ensures seafarers who are attending the training can actively engage with the tutor in real time or via private chat.”
Mr Turner said switching to live stream training and strips out ‘massive overheads’ with up to 80 per cent of normal training costs accounted for by travel, accommodation, expenses and room hire. He said interest in the new package among ship operators is also being driven by the coronavirus crisis which has seen classroom training severely disrupted.
“Our initial talks with shipowners, ship management companies and ship registries has shown a massive problem with shore-based training now and into the future because coronavirus,” he said. “There is a real need to adapt training to the new normal of restricted movement and travel and this is a big problem that our deal with Inmarsat solves. Seafarers no longer have to travel. They can do a lot of the training while still at sea via desktop, tablet or phone with sessions broadcast from our studios in Liverpool and India, which will soon be supplemented by studios we are looking to open in America and Singapore. In addition, companies can use this new platform to broadcast company conferences and meetings direct to the ship, helping crew become closer to day to day operations on land.”
“We are delighted that Tapiit Live will become a Certified Application Provider for our Fleet Connect Dedicated Bandwidth solution powered by Fleet Xpress,” said Marco Cristoforo Camporeale, head of Maritime Digital, Inmarsat Maritime. “This partnership will help improve onboard training tremendously with live streaming and we are excited to be working with an innovative partner that is revolutionising training at sea.
“This is a further example of the unique, innovative services that Inmarsat is bringing to seafarers via its market leading Fleet Xpress network.”
Mr Turner said the first live stream training packages will range from toolbox talks, mental wellbeing, maritime English, risk assessments, security and safety culture.
“The training is best offered on a bespoke basis so we can tailor it to a particular fleet and company’s requirements,” he said. “A very important element will be mental wellbeing. The challenges of life at sea have been brought into sharp focus by the coronavirus crisis and the huge problems around repatriating seafarers particularly to Indian and the Philippines. As a result, we have designed three mental wellbeing courses which include support for leaders, crew and also a tailored package for coronavirus related issues.”
Tapiit Live is also examining developing a range of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping' (STCW) accredited courses which will be added to the training portfolio.