Angus Ferguson, Founder, Onboard Maritime
Working at sea can be challenging. I know that only too well from my time aboard at the start of my career.
The nickname ‘dipstick’ was acquired after I got the sounding tank tape stuck in the sounding pipe for three consecutive days on my first trip at sea.
What I did enjoy was being at college. Learning from the experienced lecturers at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies. Their depth of knowledge and ability to make any topic interesting and engaging was inspiring.
By perseverance and hard work, I managed to get my Master Mariner Unlimited Certificate of Competency.
The transition from
ship to shore
I came ashore and began my career as a lecturer at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.
Teaching and the classroom dynamic has changed dramatically from the first classes I taught.
I still have nightmares about getting the overhead projector in focus just before dropping the folder containing my acetate sheets of notes and diagrams on the floor!
A new era
Technology advances, increased connectivity and the affordability of electronic devices has seen the rise of digital education to offer an alternative to the traditional classroom environment.
I founded Onboard Maritime in 2019 to fully focus on developing the potential of digital education within the maritime industry.
I was seeing too many talented seafarers who were unable to progress their careers as they couldn’t attend the classroom in person for long periods of time.
Maritime education for all
The maritime industry is complicated and confusing.
Digital education and the different mediums it can utilise give us the ability to simplify complex subject matter and communicate it to others.
The founding principle of Onboard Maritime was to make quality maritime education and training accessible to all.
Laying the groundwork
From starting out writing content and creating materials at my dining room table and delivering online classes from the attic, Onboard Maritime has grown from strength to strength.
This growth has been driven by individuals and companies who are looking for courses, programmes and pathways that are cost-effective, engaging and produce results.
The people you work with, and the culture of a business is so important.
Utilising the skills and 25 years of recruitment and selection experience of my wife Gillian, we assembled a creative team that works hard, is flexible, adaptable and not afraid to try new things.
"Becoming a reality"
With the knowledge and experience of our team of experts, we have built
an impressive library of digital maritime academic content across all disciplines, aligned to international standards.
Our team of in-house, e-learning designers, 3D modellers and games programmers can then swiftly take this content and transform it into interactive and engaging learning materials.
Fundamental to all of this of course is the interaction with our students and clients. ‘Distance Learning’ is a thing of the past.
Geographical location or whether someone is at sea or onshore is no longer a barrier to building fruitful and productive relationships.
The maritime industry is undergoing transformational change with respect to its relationship with new technologies and the environment.
Our traditional concept of what a ‘seafarer’ is and does is constantly being challenged.
I can see that the companies and individuals that will grow and benefit from these changes will be the ones that can rapidly adapt to the knowledge, skills and competencies required to face these challenges.
From our initial start-up days at the dining table and in the attic, Onboard Maritime has grown to be able to provide solutions to meet these challenges for both companies and individuals.
I still remember that sick feeling in my stomach as a cadet when I had to report to the Chief Officer that the sounding tape had become stuck for the third time in a row.
It was months later in a ship construction class that I finally realised what was happening.
That feeling still drives me to this day to keep learning, innovating and trying new things to improve the way in which we can make sense of our environment.
That sense is embodied in everything we do at Onboard Maritime as we approach the future of education and training in a more agile, flexible and collaborative way.
We want to speak to, and work with like-minded individuals and companies. If this is you, reach out and let’s chat.