Maritime Employment Review 2008 – “Commercial Shipping Still Candidate Short”
Faststream has come out with their annual Employment Review for the Maritime Industry. Managing director Mark Charman notes: “Our clients are telling us that they expect to continue hiring people in the New Year. Driving this is the huge growth of the global merchant fleet which continues to expand at a relentless pace and needs a wide range of skilled professionals to service it.”
Focusing on chartering and shipbroking roles, the Faststream Maritime Employment Review reports that as many companies did not recruit during the poor shipping markets of the 1980s and 1990s, a generation of shipping people have reached the traditional retirement age, but continue to work.
Of key importance are Faststream’s “Key Global Trends”:
- Whilst the situation outlined makes grim reading for many companies looking to expand their operations, the positive news is that there is no shortage of high quality trainees entering the industry. Shipping is now “sexy” and companies are working much harder to promote their image and attract good raw talent. Trainee positions within the leading companies are always oversubscribed as university graduates around the world recognize the wealth of opportunities offered by the industry.
- With the average length of service within a company now at between three and five years, companies are focusing on offering better packages. We are seeing companies offering more flexible hours, improvements in the work environment, free lunches and other initiatives. Companies are also putting more emphasis on training and studying for professional qualifications for staff both as a means of raising productivity, but also as an incentive to remain with the employer.
- Shipbroking is becoming an increasingly professional industry and shipbroking firms are offering more training and increasingly turning to recruitment consultants to help fill vacancies. The days of the “street- smart” broker look numbered with more companies expecting candidates to have a university degree.
- The growing pressure of regulation and more emphasis than ever before on environmental and safety issues has lead to a rise in the importance of the operations department. Good vessel operators take care over issues such as vetting and accident prevention and can make the difference between a successful and failed fixture.
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