A SCOTS entrepreneur is launching the maritime industry’s first instructor-led online learning platform.
Former college lecturer Angus Ferguson, from Clarkston, Glasgow, has developed Onboard Maritime as a disruptor to traditional college-based studying for professional qualifications.
More than 5000 members of the merchant navy sit Maritime and Coastguard Agency exams each year. All require study for oral and written exams as well as practical experience.
Mr Ferguson, a Master Mariner who spent 14 years at sea before joining the staff of the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, now part of the City of Glasgow College, said: “Until now you have had to go to college or a similar course to study for maritime industry exams.
“This can be expensive for students or employers, not just in terms of course fees but also in terms of time off work and lost earnings as well as accommodation and living costs if there is no course close to where you live.
“But Onboard Maritime allows students to access all the course materials they need online leading up to exams so they can learn wherever and whenever they want.
“Course materials can be downloaded so that you can learn at your own pace and convenience.
“And there are instructor-led virtual classes, but students can also contact an instructor if there are any areas they don’t understand or need extra help with.”
Courses include junior and senior officer-level Maritime and Coastguard Agency qualifications such as Officer of the Watch and Chief Mate. Seafarers have to pass oral and written exams at each level and Onboard Maritime has courses for both.