During last two decades, Shipping has been booming. As a result, more ships are being ordered, ships are run beyond its life cycle, ships which could not pass modern regulations are converted into other ship types instead of being scrapped. The total world fleet has increasing rapidly.
Companies started finding great difficulty in finding good quality officers who can meet with the higher standards imposed by the industry standards through measures like Port State Control and ISM (International Safety Management) Code.
The shortage of thousands of seafarers was predicted in the 2005 BIMCO/ISF manpower study. But warnings fell on deaf ears. Calls to recruit more cadets and spend on training were ignored. Insurers and P&I Clubs issued warnings to the industry, that owners have not ‘done enough’ to reduce the severity of manning crisis, and also warned that training in haphazard manner would recruit personnel with lack of skills which would lead to an increase in accidents and claims.
The crisis we have today is a result of the short-sighted approach in the past, where companies did not provide cadet berths. Some such companies still continue this approach even today.
The challenge to the industry will always be of recruiting competent seafarers continuously and many leading shipowners are investing millions of dollars in training and recruitment and build own team of personnel, according basic standards required by the International Convention on
Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Shipping industry has too few officers and too many ratings. Hence more emphasis should also be given to upgrade the ratings, however it's not that simple - it takes time, effort and commitment from all sides. But must remember that fewer and fewer boys want, or need to go to sea. Now they know that they can not really see foreign countries, have to stay away from home and family, and alternative jobs ashore.
The shipping industry needs to shout out loud that there are great opportunities for people who go to sea. Despite bad press, a career at sea offers good tax free money, and wonderful opportunities.
The seagoing recruitment business has become fragmented, with too little communication between all the players, whether individuals or companies. There is natural competition for the dwindling supply of personnel, but at present many of these valuable human resources do not know where to turn. The whole recruitment process needs tidying up and simplifying.
We must guarantee our recruiters a supply of the very best people available from around the globe. We hope our efforts, innovation and enthusiasm will act as a catalyst for a positive future.
The launch of jobonship.org by ex seafarer means that there is now one place where individuals can find the desired jobs, and employers can find the right seafarers. We bring recruiters and jobseekers together in a safe, secure and trusted online environment.