Liverpool John Moores University is spearheading innovation in the UK’s maritime industry with the launch of a unique maritime graduate talent programme alongside the official opening of one of the most advanced Maritime Bridge and Engine Simulator training facilities in Europe.
The Maritime Bridge and Engine Simulator enables students, marine pilots, shipmasters and senior navigating officers to develop and practise their skills in a high tech, lifelike but risk-free environment which can be programmed to look and feel like any seaborne vessel.
The Simulator is on the University’s Byrom Street Campus, alongside some of LJMU’s significant business partners, including the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).
Shipping Minister John Hayes officially opens the simulator in Liverpool today where he will also announce a new LJMU graduate talent pipeline programme offering sponsored placement opportunities to ten Merseyside companies operating in the maritime sector.
The scheme will be rolled out in partnership with industry body Mersey Maritime, which signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University in 2015 in order to provide the latter with direct access to maritime sector employers and identification of skills gaps. It will provide the University’s next cohort of graduating mariners with their first professional job in the industry and employers with a highly skilled new professional who will continue with their development as they start in their career.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, the Rt Hon John Hayes, MP, said:“I am delighted to be back in Merseyside unveiling this outstanding graduate programme and training facilities. It is by bringing together academics and industry through this programme, and using cutting edge simulation technology, that we’ll be able to successfully train up the next generation of mariners, and ensure the UK’s maritime industry remains world-leading for many years to come.”
The first cohort of graduates participating in the programme will represent the vanguard for talent management within a specific sector that could become a blueprint for other industry sectors.
Professor Nigel Weatherill, LJMU Vice-Chancellor said: “From shoreline to ship, Liverpool John Moores University has long trained hundreds of maritime professionals helping keep the UK’s ports and waterways thriving gateways to global trade.
“These world-class facilities are exemplary of Liverpool John Moores University’s global outlook and our modern civic approach in leveraging the historic maritime expertise we have cultivated here, to benefit future generations of talent. By being based at the heart of the city, in a campus that is being continuingly developed to match our ambitions, we want to send a clear message that we are ready and open to further collaboration with international partners, to drive maritime innovation and skills provision.”
Mersey Maritime CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke said: ”As the representative body for the maritime sector in the Liverpool City Region it’s been our privilege to invite Mr Hayes back to Liverpool on a day that really showcases the maritime credentials of our city. Mersey Maritime’s partnership with Liverpool John Moores University, under the Maritime Knowledge Hub umbrella, brings academia and industry together in a way that is already providing direct benefits to business, leading to sustainable sector growth.”
This latest development is another stage of the three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between Liverpool John Moores University and Mersey Maritime. The launch also comes ahead of a visit from Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (UTP) later this month, to discuss further international research and teaching partnership opportunities across maritime programmes with seven Panama organisations.
As one of only six UK universities with a dedicated maritime focus, this investment will create a world-class platform for maritime education, knowledge transfer and industry engagement to support regional strategic initiatives around the Port of Liverpool expansion and the Atlantic Gateway developments and the national Industrial Strategy focus on the offshore wind, oil and gas, and nuclear sectors.
The maritime investment is part of LJMU’s £5 million share of HEFCE’s STEM Teaching Capital funding scheme to support an increase in high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.
To read more about the facilities and courses available please visit the Department of Maritime and Mechanical Engineering.