Member Profile: Mark Jaenicke, The Maritime Skills Academy

Part of a family business dating back over 30 years, Mark tells us what his motivations are and what the Maritime Skills Academy is doing to diversify.


– Can you introduce us to the Maritime Skills Academy?

The Maritime Skills Academy is helping the industry set new standards by delivering a new level of deck and engine simulator, marine, fire and safety training. Today, with a focus on personal service, we offer over 500 expert courses to over 5,000 delegates annually. As a Maritime & Coastguard Agency , Global Wind Organisation and GUEST accredited course provider (and UK Chamber of Shipping recognised centre), we are as proud to be meeting the high standards of commercial operators as we are in supporting individuals to maintain or build their professional development.

With training centres in Portsmouth and Dover, we offer simulator training in Bridge Resource Management, Ship Handling, Polar Code and Engine Simulator Training in ERM, High Voltage, plus STCW safety, Commercial Fire, Medical, GWO and Hospitality training.


What is your role at the Maritime Skills Academy and what are you responsible for?

As Training & Performance Director, I oversee all aspects of the Maritime Skills Academy’s Dover and Portsmouth centres, within the Viking Maritime Group.

Within the global team, I am influential in the development of the company and building the MSA as a world leading training brand. This includes the expansion of its safety & simulation courses and professional development portfolio to the marine industry and to shore side commercial companies, as well as maintaining the highest level of service to new and existing clients.


What is your career background?

I have now been working with Viking for over 15 years now, with the last 10 years leading the development of the Maritime Skills Academy. Before joining the Viking Maritime Group I was involved in various marine based roles, which included the hotel department on local ferries, HR and safety.


What first drew you towards maritime skills?

Viking is a family run and owned business which has been in operation for over 34 years, originally started by my parents, Dieter and Jill Jaenicke. It was only natural that I was drawn to the business to help spearhead growth along-side my brothers, Matthew and Stuart Jaenicke.


What is the Maritime Skills Academy best known for?

Simply put: “World class facilities”. Both in Dover and Portsmouth, also we pride ourselves at being in the forefront of training standards. We strive to provide the very best quality of service and facilities to deliver the maritime industry the best learning experience possible.


Are there any recent developments in the Maritime Skills Academy’s offering?

We have recently installed a 360° Tug simulator, as seen in the last WA newsletter. Also a number of new courses have been launched, which include MCA approved AEC, Shipboard Safety Officer and Polar Code, with ING Bunkering starting in February.


Do you see any trends in requirements for the Workboat sector?

More safety is always at the forefront of every operators mind and we want to be available to provide the training required. We are working with industry to visualise and bring-to-life training necessary for a number of new and developing expectations, including; Green Skills, Digitalisation, and Autonomy.


What is the most enjoyable part of your work?

Providing a World-leading service and constantly looking to meet the standards our clients and their industry expect. I am personally motivated to hear positive feedback from those using our services and I enjoy taking the time to stand back and realise everything we have, and continue to achieve.


– What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love golf and can be found on the course most weekends (whenever possible)!


What advice do you give to anyone interested in a career within marine education?

Be passionate about your standards, this is the key element in giving a great service and meeting the ever growing need for safety in maritime. Standards control industry, from legal compliance – to best practice. Via our membership of the Workboat Association and various other Industry Organisations, we pro-actively continue to work with our clients and neighbouring training centres to raise the overall standards of the industry together. To be successful, you need to ‘live’ the expectations of the training you provide.


We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Member Profile: Mark Jaenicke, The Maritime Skills Academy