Friday, 21 July 2017

Fidra Films launches new video to raise awareness of cybercrime in the maritime industry

12th July 2017 - Award-winning global maritime cyber security awareness campaign, Be Cyber Aware at Sea, has collaborated with Fidra Films to launch a new film which aims to highlight the vital and increasing importance of cyber security across the maritime industry. NSSLGlobal, a global maritime satellite communications provider, has co-funded the film in partnership with Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), The Standard Club and Teekay Shipping.
Designed not only for seafarers but also across the maritime industry, the freely-available film uses real-life case studies to highlight how easy it is for cybercriminals to target individual employees, who are often the weakest link in the security chain. A shocking 99% of cyber-attacks target people rather than IT infrastructure.
The film’s content has been deliberately created to be both educational and entertaining and easily shared via social media to help the message spread wider throughout the industry. It features multiple tips to help employees avoid being an easy target for cybercriminals. Andrea Cross, Partnerships Development Executive, at the Sailors’ Society has praised the film’s approach, saying: “I really like the film, it’s impactful, engaging and easy to understand, great jobMany people still fail to spot the signs of simple phishing emails and accidentally give away personal and company information to hackers via email or social media postings. Even something as simple as charging a smartphone to the USB socket on the ECDIS terminal could allow hackers to gain access to a vessels IT network, potentially affecting the vessel’s ability to safely navigate.
Sally-Anne Ray, CEO, NSSLGlobal commented: “The launch of this film is extremely timely. It follows the recent reports of the global Petya ransomware cyber-attack, which hit global shipping giant Maersk, to cause one of the biggest ever disruptions to global shipping. No-one is immune from the cyber threat and this film is an important initiative to not only raise awareness of the risks, but to help protect the industry from attack.”
Chris Young, Executive Producer at Fidra Films commented: “It is great to see the maritime industry coming together to tackle cyber security. All the feedback so far has been very positive and it is our hope that the film reaches as wide an audience as possible.”
Andrew Cassels, Director, OCIMF remarked: “This film starts to tackle the most vulnerable element of cyber protection, the human element. Educating our mariners is the first line of defence; they all work in social media with ease but need to understand how innocent actions can cause harm to wider networks and systems. Wide distribution of this film and the supporting material will start to prepare industry for the cyber challenges ahead.”
Carmen Plesch, Director IT, Teekay Shipping adds: “The film is fast paced and packed with practical information. By shooting it in the environment our seafarers work and live for weeks at a time, the film resonates deeply with this audience and it emphasizes the critical role everybody – ship and shore – has to play in protecting our informational assets and keep all of us safe.”
Capt Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at The Standard Club commented: “We are proud to have worked together with Chris and the other partners on the production of this cyber awareness video. Given the potential catastrophic consequences, we cannot stress enough the importance for ship owners and operators to take adequate measures to prevent cyber-attacks. We trust this video will be well received by the industry and will aid in raising awareness amongst seafarers and shore staff alike.”
Multiple partners have come together to help Fidra develop the content of this vital educational initiative, including JWC International, the CSOA, the City of Glasgow College and Samskip. Thefunding model for the development and production of this resource means that it will be made freely available to the industry.
The video is available on YouTube here:
More information is available here:
Full licensing details are available here:
The BeCyberAwareAtSea campaign website is here:

Thursday, 6 July 2017

CalMac apprentices celebrate a year of firsts as part of the Scottish Apprenticeship Week

A group of three of CalMac's current 19 apprentices, came together to celebrate a year of notable milestones for the company's training programmes.
CalMac brings all elements of its apprenticeship training to Scotland for the first time
· The company introduces a new course - MA in hospitality with maritime enhancements - the first of its kind in the UK
· For the first time, CalMac has been named by the Merchant Navy Training Board as one of the top five companies in the UK for maritime apprenticeship numbers
· As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, three of the company's trainees - one for each of the available courses - came together to meet Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan and CalMac's managing director Martin Dorchester at the company's HQ in Gourock
As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the young students were joined at the company's Gourock headquarters by Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan, as well as CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester, and other representatives from the company, Skills Development Scotland and City of Glasgow College.
For the first time, the classroom elements of all three of CalMac's modern apprenticeships will be delivered at a Scottish institution - previously the nearest college for the specialist maritime elements was in South Shields on Tyneside.
After a sustained drive by CalMac and close working with City of Glasgow College, this year's intake of apprentices are the first to benefit from study closer to home.
For the 2016-17 intake, the company's apprenticeships on offer rose from two to three with the addition of an MA in hospitality with maritime enhancements - the first course of its kind in the UK. The other two courses are modern apprenticeships in deck and engineering.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates and highlights achievements and opportunities for young people around the country, as well as recognising employers who enable the training and the benefits such commitment makes to the economy in the short and longer term. The recognition week runs from today (March 6) through to Friday (March 10).
Since 2013, 40 apprentices have been part of CalMac apprenticeships - 90 per cent of those who have qualified have been employed by the company. The schemes have grown significantly in popularity and, in 2016, for the 2016-2017 intake, around 1,200 young people applied for just 30 available positions. The Merchant Navy Training Board - which recognises training programmes for professional mariners - has named CalMac as one of the top five companies in the UK for maritime apprenticeship numbers.
Gathering from all over the network, apprentices Kathleen MacDonald (21) hospitality trainee, from Knockintorran in North Uist, Jamie Humphreys (17) deck trainee, from Dunlop Street, Greenock and Daniel MacIntyre (18) engineering trainee, from Kilmaluag,  Isle of Skye chatted to guests about their experiences. Former engineering apprentice Megan MacDonald, 20, of Drimsdale, South Uist - now motorman on MV Hebridean Isles - was also on hand to offer insight as someone who has successfully completed her training.
"It has been a real landmark year for our apprentices," said CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester. "I am extremely proud of the young people who have come up through our apprenticeship training; they are a genuinely strong addition to our teams across the network and have been welcomed by our crews.
"Training young people is both rewarding and makes perfect business sense. I cannot praise our apprentices and the company's learning and development staff enough for the commitment and progress they have made.
"Bringing the classroom element of the courses to Scotland for the first time has been a long-held goal of ours and I'm delighted the partnership with City of Glasgow College has successfully brought this to fruition. The addition of our third apprenticeship and the development of the content for that course, has also benefitted from this close relationship."
Commenting, Stuart McMillan MSP said: "Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates and highlights achievements and opportunities for young people around the country, as well as recognising employers who enable the training and the benefits such commitment makes to the economy in the short and longer term.
"CalMac's HQ is obviously based in Inverclyde and the company is a major employer in the area. Since 2014, 40 apprentices have undertaken CalMac apprenticeships - 90 per cent of them have been employed by the company.
"As part of CalMac's winning bid to run the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract they are committed to increasing the numbers of Modern Apprentices they employ. That is great news for Inverclyde as this gives our young people the opportunity to work with a fantastic employer, whilst it also creates a skilled workforce who will make a vital contribution to our nation's economy."
City of Glasgow College Principal and CEO, Paul Little, said that modern apprenticeships were essential to growing a national skills base adding:
"We're delighted to be working in partnership with Caledonian MacBrayne. City of Glasgow Colleges very much values the important role employers play in shaping our educational system to create a talent pool for recruiting the workforce of the future. By linking directly with the maritime industry our college offers a rich blend of personalised learning which not only focuses on the individual needs of our students but in turn makes a vital contribution to our nation's economy."

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Free Digital Skills Audit for CalMac Employees

As part of our commitment to improve the digital skills of CalMac employees we are now offering a free digital skills check to every employee, this will be done in partnership with Inverness College using the ICT Now tool from BKSB Live which is a leading functional skills auditing tool.

Initially we will offer the IT Basics section of the package and once complete other sections will be made available including Health, Safety and Security, Internet, Email, File Management, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations and Databases. Learning resources will be made available through BKSB Live for learners to improve their skills in areas where they need to.    
By taking part in the audit it will give employees the opportunity to get an accurate report of their own level of digital skills and allow us to develop leaning solutions to best suit the needs of each individual employee. The initial IT Basics check will take 20 minutes to complete and all we need for you to take part is your name, email address, date of birth (for password purposes) and your work location, please send these details to or

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Maths and Writing @Sea courses

Distance learning for Seafarers
The @Sea courses are available to anyone. There is a small charge for each course but you can work at your own speed and each one is available for 12 months from the dates of purchase.
To buy any of the courses please visit Marine Society online shop.
Maths@Sea, Writing@Sea and Maths@Sea+ are exciting learning tools designed, developed and delivered by professionals in nautical education and Coracle Online.
Using nautically flavoured examples and language the course leads students to apply basic, yet key, maths concepts and also covers elementary aspects of algebra, geometry and trigonometry.
Maths@Sea is equivalent to GCSE level maths.
The course is used as a diagnostic testing tool for those applying for scholarship funding, as an evaluation course for prospective MN officer trainees or a refresher course for seafarers taking OOW certification.
This takes the next step into more advanced mathematics. It contains 5 core modules:
Algebra, Trigonometry, Charts and Bearings, Introduction to Functions and Calculus.
Using maritime language and concepts the course is designed with seafarers in mind who are comfortable with the elementary aspects of Maths@Sea and are now taking OOW or higher levels of certification.
Writing@Sea helps you to:
Get to grips with the fundamentals of written English
Organise ideas and express them with confidence
Draft written reports, letters and emails
Identify common mistakes made with apostrophes, spelling and punctuation
It is tailor-made for the maritime sector and uses examples, assignments and tests using familiar seafaring language and imagery. The course can be used as a handy reference tool once elements have been completed.
For information, impartial advice and guidance on any of the above @Sea courses contact Marine Society by email:
Please contact Dan Henderson, Learning Organiser by email for details of funding through the RMT Bursary.

Monday, 6 July 2015

RMT Seafarers Bursary

On Thursday, 25th June, 2015 (International Day of the Seafarer) at the AGM in Newcastle, National Secretary Steve Todd officially launched the new RMT Learning Seafarers Bursary Scheme.  This has been made possible by a grant received from Seafarers UK.
Steve Todd seafarers bursary

The RMT Learning Seafarers Bursary Scheme is open to individual members and also to branches for Educational purposes.

The maximum amount awarded to an individual for a bursary will be £400.  This must be used towards an accredited educational course – and evidence of the course must be submitted before payment will be made.

Shipping Branches are able to apply to the fund also, with the aim of providing collective learning activity within the branches and also onboard.  i.e. IT courses, language classes, functional skills courses etc.

The fund will be administered by RMT Learning and the contact is Paul Shaw.  He is contactable on 07982 855044 or at or in Scotland you can contact Dan Henderson on 07814022347 or at

Those eligible for the bursary scheme must either be active, retired or ex-seafarers.

The fund has limited resources and will be used on a first come, first served basis.

Application form can be found on this webpage.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Mental Health Awareness Week 2015

Every year, between 11-17 May, the Mental Health Foundation helps to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues.
Since their first Mental Health Awareness Week back in 2000 they have helped generate public debates around how anxiety, sleep deprivation and exercise can impact our mental health. This year they are talking about Mindfulness.
We will be working with CalMac in the 2015-17 project to raise awareness of this subject and we will be out and about during Mental Health Awareness Week speaking to employees and distributing information. 

Tell me, what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness can be practiced standing, sitting and walking. It can be practiced both indoors and out; at home, in schools, at work or simply out and about. You can practice mindfulness for 5 minutes or 5 hours – that’s the great thing about mindfulness, you can tailor it to suit your own needs.
What you may be surprised to hear is that you have probably been mindful at some point in your life and didn’t even know it… Have you gone for a long walk, breathing in the crisp, fresh air and then suddenly realised that four hours have passed? Have you listened so intently to a song that for a moment, you weren’t thinking about anything but how beautiful the melody was? That’s mindfulness!

How can mindfulness help me?

Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t about emptying your mind of thoughts and ‘zoning out’. It can mean different things to different people. At the heart of it, mindfulness helps people observe the way they think and feel about their experiences, whether good or bad. This can really change the way you manage and react to stressful situations, giving you a valuable tool to stay mentally healthy, and an ever-expanding body of evidence shows that it really works.
Mindfulness is already known to be successful in helping people with mental and physical health problems, from stress, depression and anxiety to chronic pain, eating disorders and concentration, boost our productivity at work, and give us a greater enjoyment of life.

So, where can I learn mindfulness?

Despite its proven successes, access to mindfulness is still limited. We are campaigning for mindfulness practice to be widely available in prisons, schools, hospitals and the workplace. But we have still got a long way to go before we can make this dream a reality. We hope you will join us this year in taking part and raising awareness during Mental Health Awareness Week 2015!
Our Be Mindful Online Course is a 4-week online course is designed to guide you through all the elements of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (CBMT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). You’ll be taught by Ed Halliwell & Tessa Watt, both leading mindfulness trainers from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, UK, and in as little as 4 weeks you can expect to be enjoying benefits including reduced stress, depression and anxiety. If you want to learn mindfulness visit the Be Mindful Online website.

More information

Download our free Wellbeing Podcasts
Watch our Mindfulness Videos on YouTube

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

ILM First Line Management course

We have places available for learners to take part in an ILM First Line Management which is starting in Oban in November. The course consists of 30 hours of classroom based learning and applications will be considered from all CalMac employees either living or working in the Highlands and Islands.
The following is the course content.
Solving problems and making decisions   

·     Understand how to describe a problem, its nature, scope and impact. Learn how to gather and interpret information that will let you identify possible solutions to a problem. Discover how to make a decision as to the best solution.
Consider how to plan the implementation and communication of this decision. Explore monitoring and review techniques that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of a solution.

Understand Customer Service standards and requirements  

·     Discover how to identify external, internal and potential customers, and how to identify the needs of both external and internal customers. Learn how to care for the customer and how to maintain customer care standards, as well as how to maintain effective customer relationships. Consider the rights of customers and the responsibilities of organisations towards them.

Developing yourself and others

·      Learn how to identify development needs, and how to develop self and others to achieve organisational objectives.

The expected objectives for learners are:

·       Gain a range of key management skills and put them into
practice in their own role

·       Build their leadership capabilities – motivate and engage
teams, manage relationships confidently

·      Develop your leadership and management skills using
their own knowledge, values and motivations.

This course is open to all CalMac employees either living or working in the Highlands and Islands and is also open to all employees regardless of trade union membership.

If you would like to apply to take part in this course or you require any further information on this course or any other learning opportunities please contact us using the following details.

Tel No.  07814022347