Career Paths: David Tournay, Maritime Skills Alliance

In our special column this month, we are glad to host an interview with David Tournay, Secretary, Maritime Skills Alliance, who says that the maritime sector is full of fascinating job roles but it needs to embrace the use of apprenticeships much further. This is a nice initiative that directly addresses skills shortages and the money can be drawn down from government, he explains.

Mr Tournay is grateful for studying for a Masters degree in Training and HR management as it developed many of his skills such as strategic thinking.

SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined the shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?

David Tournay: I have been a skills development specialist for 30 years, with a keen interest in the maritime sector. I like the sea as I am also a keen sailor. Therefore, I get to combine my skillset with my interests.

S4S: What about your current job/role most excites you and why?

DT: I thrive on meeting new people and finding out new things about job roles and activities I did not previously know about. The maritime sector is full of fascinating job roles, so it’s great to explore.

S4S: When you think of the word successful who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

DT: I think James Dyson. He has refined and further refined his products which seek to resolve everyday problems. It’s the combination of design, presentation and manufacturing quality.

S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?

DT: I would say an old boss of mine, John McNamara, when I worked at a large hospitality training organization. He taught me that people work with people and not organizations. It is our links with people and how they treat us that makes the difference and helps successful projects to grow.

S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?

DT: Best advice – buy a house when you can! It has given me a good sense of security. / Worst advice – buy a computer with Windows 8 software! Need I say any more!!

S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?

DT: Studying for a Masters degree in Training and HR management. It developed many of my current skills development ideas and enabled me to be far more strategic in my thinking.

S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?

DT: Advice – At all opportunities, maintain your network of contacts and work to keep in contact. Take and interest in the people you work with. These people will be the backbone or your ongoing career development. / Ignore – Only management type jobs are worth anything.

S4S: In the last five years, what new beliefs, behaviors, or habits have most improved your business life?

DT: Embracing the use of Zoom and Teams to reduce the amount of time and money I spend on travel.

S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of ​​expertise specifically and why?

DT: I would like to see the industry embrace the use of apprenticeships much further. It is a fantastic initiative that directly addresses skills shortages and the money can be drawn down from the government. What’s the downside?

S4S: What is your personal motto?

DT: Life isn’t a rehearsal – so don’t miss a minute.

The views presented here are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.

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