Experiential Learning Is Key To Understanding The Maritime Sector


Experiential Learning Is Key To Understanding The Maritime Sector

Subtech South Africa has been providing work-integrated learning as a Skills Development initiative since 2015. Through these learning programmes, students received financial and logistical support to further their understanding of the career possibilities relating to commercial diving.

Each young student, working closely with workplace mentors in the sub-sea, marine and related fields, spends a year immersed in hands-on activity that furthers their maritime industry knowledge and exposure.

12 students completed a Class IV Dive ticket and were placed at Subtech South Africa, in co-operation with the KZN Sharksboard, for a 3-month experiential learning period that was funded by Subtech.  During this time, they were given an opportunity to learn in the Subsea, Marine and SHEQ Divisions of the organisation. Students were rotated in order to give them a well-rounded experience and also to determine their strengths and natural abilities. Assessments were conducted by mentors in each division and a portfolio of evidence was compiled and submitted to the Sharksboard. Based on the results of the assessments certain of the students were sent for a Class III Dive Ticket.

On 01 June 2016, 8 of the 12 students returned to Subtech with a Class III Dive Ticket for a one year Experiential programme that is funded by Transport Education Training Authority (TETA).  Experiential learning allows students to develop the competencies they need for real-world success within the relative security of a training setting.  It has been shown that trainees are more motivated when they are provided opportunities for practice and feedback.  In this way, experiential learning creates self-directed learners.

Despite the fact that the students have had commercial diver training the importance of getting solid training cannot be stressed as commercial diving is historically a cyclical business, and anybody who enters it should be prepared for the slow times. As part of the work exposure training program, these 8 trainee divers will learn a variety of skills in the maritime sector that makes them multi-skilled and more attractive to future employers.  As such, this group of students are not only gaining work exposure in the Subsea Division but also in the Marine and Projects Division.

Our priority is equipping these trainee divers with the training and knowledge required to succeed, in their chosen careers.   A year-long experiential placement will look impressive on their CV and, if they perform well, can lead to the offer of a full-time job.   It will also provide them with an advantage as compared to other Class 3 divers who only have their training dive time to offer prospective employers.

After the first two months of the programme, our 8 trainees have had exposure to the following:

  • Warehouse Asset Management and Project Mobilisation & Demobilisation
  • Air Diver Tendering
  • Marine experience  and familisation on board a deck barge

We look forward to watching their confidence and skill set grow in the coming months.