Searching for a job is easier nowadays. You just open JobStreet, Kalibrr and LinkedIn and you’re connected to employers who might be looking for people like you. Even signing-up for classes online is a breeze. Online schools that teach a vast number of topics are very much available with just a simple sign-up process. Both of these services have been here for a long time for most of us, but it’s not easy to avail of these services if you’re part of the Maritime industry. Most of the processes involved in recruiting and training aspiring seamen are still not at par with the modern demanding times. That pain point is what the app called SEAker wishes to address.
SEAker is the Philippines’ first training course booking and job-hunting app for Seafarers. It’s a locally developed one-stop app for seafarers who wish to land a job or students and trainees who wish to train and prepare themselves better before actually signing-up for a job.
The app is a response to the growing demand for seafarers here in the Philippines. I personally know a lot of high school batchmates who are now doing well in the Maritime industry. I recently talked to them to ask them on how they went about their job-hunting and training after graduating from their Marine schools. Most of them said it was mostly manual and old-school and they wished they had the SEAker app before.
In this article, I review the benefits and perks that the SEAker app offers. Being someone who knows little about the Maritime industry, I asked for the help of some of my friends to help me review the app. I used a dummy account, so I wasn’t able to go further when I tried to do book a course or apply to a job as the name of the account I’m using will be listed and might take slots dedicated for real users.
The app is available on both the iOS App Store and the Google Playstore so no matter what platform, the services will be available to you. Best of all, the app is FREE and the only in-app purchases are called COINS, credits that you can use in booking courses right on the app. Coins can be purchased and charged on the credit card registered on your Apple ID or your Google Playstore account.
Upon opening the app, you will be greeted by a login page. If you’re new to the app, signing-up is easy. First, you need to select which account type you’re applying for – Seaman / Shore Staff, Manning Agency & Shipping Company or Training & Review Center. Each type of account shows different app functionalities, but for the sake of this review, we’ll be using a Seaman / Shore Staff account.
Relevant information must be inputted in order to register. Aside from the basic information, you will also be asked important information like your Educational background and Documents Held as a Maritime Professional. The process is finished once you fill out all the needed information. After that, you can go ahead and log-in and use the app.
Once you’re in, you’ll see 5 tabs at the bottom of the screen.
INTERFACE & USER EXPERIENCE
The first tab is dedicated for TRAINING CENTERS. Here, you get a view of centers nearby you in grid format. When you select a training center, you will be taken to the SEAker page of that center where you will be shown relevant information like the address, working days and office hours. Below it, you’ll see more tabs that show all posts by the center, job vacancies, courses offered and contact persons. Pulling the tab up reveals more information, especially on the courses tab where the name of the course, availability, duration, schedule and most importantly, price, are shown.
Tapping on a course shows you a button that you click to sign-up for a class. There is a booking fee of P50, which you can pay using your Coins. Once booked, you will be automatically part of the class list, and further instructions will be sent to your email, your SEAker app or your mobile phone number.
The second tab is called RANKS. This is where you can find all available job vacancies that you apply for. Shown on each opening is the title or the position, the expected salary and other notes and information.
Tapping on an opening shows you a button to APPLY. Clicking it will prompt a dialog box that confirms your information and application. Once you click Apply, the employer is prompted and your information will be listed in their database and your application will be processed. All you need to do is wait for feedback if you are qualified for the position.
The middle tab called TODAY is a feed of updates from training centers, employers and other users of the app. It’s like a Facebook stream, but for seafarers. Users can interact on posts by Liking, Commenting, and Sharing. It’s pretty straightforward because the interface is very familiar even for new users.
The fourth tab is called COMPANIES. Like the name suggests, this tab lists all of SEAker’s partner Maritime companies. There, you can check out the profile of your potential employers. Similar to the Training Centers, information like the address, working hours and office hours are available there. Furthermore, all of the companies posts, job vacancies and profile including contact persons can be seen there. The interface is similar to the Training Centers tab, minus the Courses, of course.
The last tab is where you will see your PROFILE. It’s like your Facebook profile where you can upload a profile photo, cover photo or header and input information that may be important to you application in jobs and courses. You can also add information like your educational background and documents that you’ve held as a maritime professional. The number of coins available to your profile can also be seen there, so that you know if you need to purchase more to book more classes.
All your notifications will also be available there, so if a company or a friend replies to your comment or tags you in a post, you’ll see it right away. You can also have a view of all your previous courses booked and jobs applied to on dedicated tabs. Lastly, you can take control of your app settings right on this tab, too.
The app also has a referral offer. You can refer SEAker to a friend and send them your referral code. Your friends get 50 coins upon sign-up and you get 10 coins. Once they book a course, you get 50 more coins. That’s a win-win situation!
Overall, my experience, as well as my friends’ experience with the app was smooth. The friends I consulted found the app really helpful, but they all wish the app had more company and training center partnerships. Some more notable company and center names were missing from the list available. However, they said that the available list is sufficient enough to provide a really smooth experience to those who will really be using the app. Navigation was easy and really straightforward, and buttons and calls to action were clear and understandable.
I experienced a few bugs and slow-downs in some sections of the app, especially whenever loading information, but SEAker constantly releases updates and fixes to these little problems every now and then. Based from the information given to me, the app will be releasing a major update soon, and most probably will be addressing some the issues the app has now.
From a non-maritime citizen, the app has been really easy to use and figure out. For maritime professionals, though, the app provides a great promise of ease and accessibility to the trainings and jobs that are available to them. It’s a social media platform, a job-hunting app, and an class booking app all-in-one. But more than that, it’s an app that revolutionizes an industry that’s in constant need to keep up with the times and the demands, both of its employees, the seamen and other mairitime professionals, and the beneficiaries, us, the Filipino citizens. SEAker is providing a platform for maritime professionals to better themselves so they can better serve the country.
If you wish to know more about SEAker, you can visit their website at http://www.seaker.ph.
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