V.Group has sold its Marlins e-learning technology business to Ocean Technologies Group, which has already accumulated a leading position in maritime training provision
As part of this arrangement, both companies have formed a strategic partnership to offer electronic distance learning to V.Group personnel and shipowner customers.
This agreement comes as the maritime industry is turning to e-learning to train seafarers remotely who may be stranded on ships or unable to get on board due to travel restrictions imposed as the world tackles the coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic.
V.Group and Ocean Technologies will continue to co-operate in providing training to thousands of seafarers on ships worldwide. V.Group will use Ocean Technologies’ digital platforms to provide integrated e-learning solutions to ships it manages for various owners.
This will include bespoke V.Group content, technologies in micro-learning, adaptive and gamified learning and virtual reality training, all developed by Ocean Technologies.
As part of the co-operative agreement, Marlins’ maritime English assessment product and its global approved test centre scheme will be transferred to Ocean Technologies and become part of its growing list of offerings.
“This is a symbiotic partnership,” said V.Group chief executive Graham Westgarth. “This deal highlights the importance of strategic partnerships.”
He continued, “The Covid-19 crisis serves to highlight the maritime industry’s increasing reliance on digital platforms. It is clear that distance learning will become increasingly important to companies and individuals who need to meet legislative and industry requirements.”
Ocean Technologies group chief executive Manish Singh expects the partnership will deliver through-career learning support for V.Group personnel.
His group has invested up to US$30M in developing future-ready learning solutions. It serves more than a million seafarers on all types of ships in multiple fleets worldwide.
“This is in sharper focus than ever after the significant Covid-19 disruption reshaped the way seafarers are trained,” said Mr Singh. “This new global partnership provides a great opportunity for V.Group personnel and customers to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing sector.”
He confirmed Ocean Technologies would continue to invest in Marlins e-learning and English assessments.
This group already consists of Seagull, Videotel and Maritime Training Services, which was acquired in April 2020, plus is the umbrella for Tero Marine and COEX.
Its strategic agreement with V.Group was announced on 25 June, IMO’s annual Day of the Seafarer, where the plight of stranded seafarers, thought to be at least 200,000, was recognised. IMO has called on its member states to recognise seafarers as key workers and to facilitate their transfer.
Since 17 March, V.Group has facilitated 10,282 crew movements of those stranded at sea due to the crew change crisis. The seafarers consisted of 92 nationalities from 795 vessels.
In reaction to this, V.Group managing director of crew management Allan Falkenberg said “By being fully committed to repatriating as many seafarers as possible, we have helped large numbers of crew reunite with their families or begin working on ships.
“With thousands still confined to vessels as a result of coronavirus restrictions, our crewing teams are working tirelessly to identify all potential crew change opportunities at the ports our seafarers’ vessels are scheduled to visit. We remain hopeful that a solution can be found to the crew change challenge, which remains the number one issue facing the maritime industry.”
Riviera is hosting a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on maritime communications commencing 20 July. Register your interest now