Alachua, Fla. — According to the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), there are over 100,000 skilled craft professionals employed in the shipbuilding industry. Over the next decade, thousands of these maritime professionals will retire and need to be replaced. Faced with an aging workforce and fewer young people entering the industry, maritime employers are struggling to find enough skilled workers to complete their current and projected shipbuilding and repair projects.

To help the industry meet this need, NCCER has released its first training module for maritime craft professionals. The Introduction to the Maritime Industry module, combined with the NCCER’s Core Curriculum, make up the Maritime Industry Fundamentals curriculum. This introductory curriculum will serve as a prerequisite to more specific training in craft areas used in the maritime industry.

“This modified Core Curriculum amplifies the introductory information to craftsmanship contained in the NCCER Core to include necessary basic skill sets for persons entering the maritime industry,” said John Lotshaw, chairman of the National Maritime Education Council (NMEC) and director of workforce training and development for Ingalls Shipbuilding. “It provides, for the first time, a blueprint for the maritime industry to have a consistent basis on which to train personnel on safety, basic tool usage, and fundamental skill sets (such as math) to enable people entering the marine crafts to have the necessary foundation to be successful.”

In 2012, NCCER partnered with the Gulf States Shipbuilders Consortium (GSSC) to develop jointly-endorsed maritime construction and repair curricula and assessments. In addition, the NMEC was formed to promote industry involvement in the development, coordination and funding of the initiative. Through this partnership, NCCER, GSSC and the NMEC will work together to develop additional curricula, including a three-level Marine Shipfitting program, a four-level Marine Pipefitting program, and a four-level Marine Electrical program.  Additional crafts will be added later.

NCCER worked with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) representing industry and academia across the country to introduce relevant industry topics. This group included representatives from the GSSC, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Newport News Shipbuilding, Bollinger Shipyards, VT Halter Marine, Signal International, Continental Maritime and Tecnico Corporation. For more information on NCCER curriculum, visit www.nccer.org/catalog.