A NORTH East college hopes to cement its reputation as a world-leading training centre at the official launch of its revamped facilities this week.
The state-of-the-art resources at South Tyneside College’s Marine School have benefited from further enhancements following a major £1.5m upgrade.
The South Shields-based centre, the only training facility of its kind in the region, is used by hundreds of organisations around the world every year.
Its upgrade includes “a full-mission bridge projection system”, which includes touch screen controls and the latest software.
There is also a new desktop bridge simulation suite and a digital CCTV recording and playback system operating throughout, which aims to allow staff to monitor the non-technical skills of students.
The development has been welcomed by Shajan Lukose, head of school, who said: “Demand for marine simulation training has continued apace and it is vital our facilities are the best anywhere in the world; they are class-leading.
“All ranks of maritime personnel train at the college, from cadets to officers, masters and pilots.
“In the safety of a simulated environment, they experience emergencies and develop the skills they need to build a broad range of knowledge.
“For many years the college has played a very significant role in simulation training and is renowned as a market leader, delivering specialist training to organisations in the UK and around the world.
“We have overhauled every aspect of our simulation system’s performance and capabilities to enable us to continue to meet all future training needs and demands in a highly specialist, global marketplace.”
A key part of the overhaul is the installation of multiple cameras and microphones as part of the marine school’s response to growing demands for training which addresses human actions and behaviours through Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM). It is designed to reduce accidents and improve crew performance by studying skills such as team working, leadership, situational awareness, decision making and communication.
Further investment will see the opening of a climbing tower at its Marine Safety Training Centre – based by the river Tyne in South Shields – which will allow working at height to those aiming to work in the offshore wind market.
The marine school has also launched courses in ice navigation, designed to prepare maritime personnel for the introduction of the Polar Code in 2014.
The new-look facilities will officially be launched on Friday. Overall, the college is spending £3.2m upgrading facilities in South Shields.