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Recruitment Inside The Marine Enterprise

Recruitment Inside The Marine Enterprise

Times have changed because it became the maladjusted teens or economically challenged profiles who have been the foundation of the crewing for ships. In recent times it is a profession of choice and officers are educated to the bachelor stage. But has the enterprise managed to increase in parallel to integrate these profiles and how is the chance of the future?

History
Simplest 50 years ago the transport business was extraordinarily exceptional from now. Being a sailor becomes a life fashion, it was not rare to spend 12 months at sea and an excessive variety of sailors by no means made it domestic to Denmark between ships, however stayed in maritime hubs like Singapore, Manila, or Bangkok. Ships stayed long term in ports – now and again weeks. There has been plenty of teams onboard and no alcohol restriction or AIDS. Sailors become adventurous individuals who in the marine business should wipe the display screen clean and begin a brand new lifestyle. By no means thoughts which you did not have the training, which you came out from prison, that you were no longer capable of examine, as long as you were capable (for this reason the time period AB able-Bodied), inclined to paintings hard and will fit in onboard socially you were welcome inside the enterprise. Kids tired of college have been happy to find off kind surroundings where they may be challenged, earn excellent cash, and come home as men. Myths have been created at that time. Sailors were hard people with tattoos, parrots on the shoulder, and golden ear jewelry.

Present
All this has modified. Inside the maritime enterprise, you currently want a high school degree to enter the officer educations. Becoming a junior navigating officer takes a minimum of four years and there may be no room for maladjusted human beings. The amount of management is now so annoying which you need considerable bookkeeping capabilities. The ships are so advanced which you want sizeable education to perform the system. Maximum ships spend a few hours in port without time for the sailors to head ashore. The crew on board has been reduced to absolutely the minimum. On pinnacle of this, specific nationalities had been carried out in the crewing coverage with the target of reducing the manning fee. The team from 1/3 international nations does now not complain about the situation. If you can choose between poverty, hunger, or going to sea – the latter is honestly high-quality. But the western children aren’t satisfied with the conditions. They have got other selections. Few humans who’ve spent their lifestyles on the sea will propose this route to their youngsters. Giant advertising had been implemented in Denmark to draw new profiles to the blue business. The campaign has been incredibly a hit and every yr a new batch of clean-baked officers is leaving the Engineer or Navigating Officer colleges.

Truth
So what truth waits for these hopeful young humans? What made them make the selection to enter the enterprise? And for the way long will they live? And what’s going to they do after the crushing profession? These are good questions that aren’t effortlessly replied to. To begin with, plenty of problem waits onboard the ships. That is for positive, analyzing diverse reports and maritime blogs. Items that score high rank inside the mind of sailors in recent times are: Piracy, criminalization, loneliness, deprivation, disturbed sleep pattern, no impact on meals and hard get admission to docs. The alternative aspect of the coin is the excessive pay, the independence, the huge duty, the travels, and the personal development being for your personal out in the huge world. In Denmark, the average time a navigation officer keeps to sail after quit education is 7 years according to a survey conducted through Danish Maritime officials. Then they begin to paintings ashore in a marine-related agency or do something completely distinctive. A few percentages closing longer and in case you are cruising while you are 50 the probabilities that you may move ashore is quite small. Manifestly it may be a bit difficult for this sort of profile to adjust to a land job after many years at sea. If there has been an adequate supply of officials and senior profiles for the offices, we did not need to alternate something, from a cost-effective perspective as a minimum. However, speaking to the numerous ship proprietors in Denmark we start to see a bottleneck bobbing up. We do now not have enough HSQE profiles, we do no longer have enough DP operators and we lack naval architects and lots of other essential positions. That is the gas under the discussion, what will we do approximately now and what can we do in an extended angle?

Statistics
Denmark has been a pacesetter in the maritime commercial enterprise for lots of years. The general public inside the business recognizes that we make a contribution in a tremendous manner to the welfare society of Denmark. Eighty-five. 000 human beings are directly employed in the commercial enterprise and 10, five of the whole production value stems from the maritime commercial enterprise. Of this 85% is export – which is particularly needed to keep our stability of payments wonderful. Over the last years, 15 delivery yards have closed in Denmark and the newbuilding business has almost completely been overtaken by means of Asian international locations. During the last 6 years, Europe’s part of the newbuilding enterprise has been reduced from 18,eight% to 9,1% – a brilliant discount of greater than 50%. Onboard the Danish ships the share of Danish officials has been reduced from 86% to 70% over the past nine years and at the equal time, the percentage of foreign officers has increased from 14% to 30%. It seems even worse while we observe the figures for ratings, inside the same 9 years the parent for Danish rankings has dropped from 54% to 35% and the proportion of foreigners has expanded from 46% to sixty five%. 30% of the entire world fleet is manned by way of ratings from the Philippines. Before it all gets too bad, it is essential to highlight that during the last 7 years the Danish fleet has elevated by extra than one hundred% from 15.994 Mill. DWT to 32.157 Mill. DWT. Danish deliver proprietors are doing properly now, absolute confidence about this. They had been not so tough laid low with the crisis due to the fact the fundament turned into so as. More than a hundred years of enjoying confirmed the difference inside the monetary disaster and we’ve got seen only a few proprietors in problem in Denmark. But with the above figures in mind, what is the chance for destiny?

Future
In the past, the average sailing time for the sailors employed onboard the offices was high. It was not uncommon with 10-30 years of sailing time in the book before you became superintendent, HSQ manager, or even fleet manager. That is not the case now. Young people want to get ashore again after a few years at sea. Probably due to a mix of the above-mentioned parameters. The ship owners cannot pick and choose who they want for the shore-based positions. Actually, for years, they have got new people to shore-based positions by attracting profiles, with a higher salary and better conditions, from competing ship-owners. Most ship-owners still have senior profiles in the corner. Young people cannot do without them. When the McGregor hatches are jamming, when they have an oil spill, port state control, etc. the grey gold has seen it all and knows how to deal with it. There is an increasing concern about what will happen when these senior profiles are not in the office anymore. They are the true value of the company, the heart blood so to speak. And they have practical experience from the sea, they understand the terms and conditions onboard a ship. If we want to maintain the maritime business in Denmark in some form we have to look into this single subject. It is not enough to educate more people. Utilizing crew from third world countries is not the answer – they tend to retire early and move back home – which is quite understandable since they spent a significant part of their life on board the ships in long duty periods.

Western World
This issue is not only discussed in Denmark. This is a North European issue. This is something that affects the entire western world. The maritime business is the most global business on earth. It is an extremely competitive business and crewing and shipbuilding take place where the salary is lowest. The western world has invented modern shipping. Starting with the proud empire time of the United Kingdom and followed up by endless innovations and patents. Europe and the States were leading the way for many years. But the salaries turned out to be not competitive anymore. You could get arms and legs in Asia much cheaper. Brazil had a role in the seventies soon to be taken over by Japan. Later Korea was wearing a yellow t-shirt and they are now seriously challenged by China. Shipbuilding is labor-intensive work. In the industrialized world, we probably have to come to terms with the fact that yards probably never will come back.

The window
In the beginning, when ships were built in new places, knowledge was exported as skilled profiles, design, machines, and inventory. We were basically contracting arms and legs and there was still plenty of work for us. Later it turned out that it was only a window. The shipyards developed and the level of quality was increasing. The local education system was redesigned to accommodate the maritime business and shipbuilding became a big part of the country’s economy and identity. In exactly the same way as it used to be for us in the western world. Summarizing up, it is clear that something is going on, that the business is moving away from the western world. What should we do about it? Or even more relevant, can we do anything about it? To quote one of the more famous profiles in the world right now Yes we can.

Action
It will require a never seen before cooperation between all parties in the business. It will require a change of perspective and a total reform of the education system. At the moment seen from the individuals’ perspective, things are maybe not so bad. Until they lose the job because the office is closed down or because the shipowner decides to change nationality.

Ship Owners
Normally, there are a lot of emotions in this debate. Let’s make one thing clear. Shipowners are not evil people that enjoy changing nationality onboard the ships or changing to a foreign flag. Shipowners are highly professional companies that try to run a business in an extremely competitive environment. It is often highlighted that they make big money – yes, sometimes they do, but when they don’t they also have a high loss. Shipping is a risky business. Another point is that most big shipowners in Denmark are owned by shareholders and by paying tax it is somehow in the entire Danish society’s interest that they do well financially.

Co-operation
It is important that this debate is without pointed fingers and referrals to the past. It is time to sit together with representatives from the entire maritime cluster. Participants could be, but not limited to: Unions, ship owners, shipping people, suppliers, schools, authorities, insurance companies, classification societies, crew, and technical office staff.

Here are some ideas
Full career paths to all the different positions you can have ashore
Turns in the office always included for ships crew and office staff to visit ships and harbor facilities
HR & crewing operated in the same unit with the same benefits and conditions
Free broadband internet onboard
A range of relevant educations that the sailor can take while sailing
Enough people onboard so an officer can take a full day off every second week
Psychological working environment
Investments in harbor facilities – close to the ships, with social hubs for sailors, pick up and shopping service, sports facilities
Focus on delicious and healthy food
As many decisions as possible to be done by the ship’s crew
Employ one person to do only administrative work onboard
Gymnasium onboard must be mandatory
Maximum time at sea 10 weeks
Elaborate explanation

Full career paths to all the different positions you can have ashore
As it is now, you are educated to do service onboard ships. What happens after your sailing career is not a part of your education in the navigation- or engineering school. All roles in the maritime cluster must be evaluated and appropriate background and education must be clear. If we take for example a superintendent, a shipowner can, in theory, employ anybody to do the job. They normally prefer an engineer for a technical superintendent role and a navigation officer for a nautical superintendent role. The website world careers.DK has done a big job to create a career compass but it is all based on inputs. The business needs a complete map and minimum requirements for getting the various roles. When you go ashore you have to adapt to a completely different working environment and the only way you can be better at the job is to learn from the senior profiles as it is now. For the example with the superintendent, it could prove beneficial that there was a three-month course – or maybe a distance learning course so you become a certified superintendent. In this way, you can during your sailing career specializing in the area that you want to work in after your sailing career. Standardization and optimizing of the educational background including sailing time will be a benefit for the entire cluster.
Turns in the office always included for ships crew and office staff to visit ships and harbor facilities
Sometimes there are light years between life on board and life in the office. Both parties have a hard time understanding the reality of the challenges of the other part. To close this gap and ensure full co-operation and understanding between the parties some exchange is crucial.

HR & crewing operated in the same unit with the same benefits and conditions
There is a very good example of a shipowner looking for a Chief Engineer for a bulk ship. The job advertisement contains three lines: Ships name, flag, and salary. The same company is also looking for a superintendent for bulk. This advertisement is three A4 pages. They are looking for a profile with the same educational background. The first is contracted by the crewing department, very often outsourced to a crewing company and the latter is contracted by the HR department. It is important that we consider crew onboard ships as humans – to be administered by Human Relations – not commodities administered by a crewing department – normally controlled by the technical department.

Free broadband internet onboard
Young people, these days are normally online almost 24/7. Bringing them into an environment where they cannot communicate on social platforms, get news, watch movies, send emails, etc. will just not be accepted by them. Broadband internet is an extremely important part of the package that should attract young people to a career in the maritime business.

A range of relevant educations that the sailor can take while sailing
Even though many officers especially in coastal trade are very busy onboard there must be a range of relevant educations that can help a seagoing profile to optimize his opportunities if he wants to go ashore. Examples of courses could be, but not limited to Surveyor, Superintendent, HSQE, Sales, Shipping, Law, or insurance. These courses must be tailor-made for the business and officially certified so we are sure that we keep the knowledge in the maritime loop.

Enough people onboard so an officer can take a full day of every second week
This is a controversial suggestion. But nevertheless, it makes sense. How many people on shore are working between 8-12 hours minimum every day in 90 days? If possible, the free day should be spent when the ship is onshore. The day is for recharging the batteries, catch up on sleep, relax, or maybe get some new input from different cultures. It could also be to do homework, to have quality time on webcam with family or friends.

Psychological working environment
Life onboard ships are tough. The opinion of some senior profiles is that they are not there to make anybody happy. Most people miss family and friends and communication can easily become tough. If the ship is leaking oil some ship-owners have implemented whistleblower options. The same can be done about the psychological working environment. There is an old joke saying that the sea is the catchment area for the mentally maladjusted people that would not be able to work in land-based organizations. The business has now got rid of the socially maladjusted, the alcoholics and now it is time to look at the mental health of people onboard. In many cases, ship owners have implemented that when signing off, the captain rates the officer signing off and report home. It should go the other way too, and the action should be taken if the reports indicate that a captain is not able to create a healthy and inspiring working environment. It could prove beneficial to make a personality test before accepting people into the officer system.
Investments in harbor facilities – close to the ships, with social hubs for sailors, pick up and shopping service, sports facilities

In a few rare cases, ship owners have donated money to the Seamans church. Why is it the church of all institutions that are responsible for the social life of sailors going ashore? Is it acceptable that we hand over the welfare of our crew to charity institutions? It has been like this for generations and it is understandable that ship owners operating in tramp cannot invest in facilities in ports. As a start, ship owners operating liner service could create these hubs. It could be that ports should be involved in this discussion – so a small percentage of the port fee is allocated for building state of the art facilities.

Focus on delicious and healthy food
This does not need to be explained further. Everybody in the business understands this; the problem is that the rules for food on board ships can be interpreted in various ways and that the competitive situation has forced ship owners to cut down on the budget for food too. Food is one of the most important parameters

As many decisions as possible to be done by the ship’s crew
The officer of 2011 is a responsible and intelligent profile. He/she needs to be involved in decisions and feel a responsibility in order to gain job satisfaction. The easy communication to the ships is good in many ways, but the downside is that many officers feel like being remote-controlled by the office. It is crucial that ship owners let officers do decisions and take responsibility.

Employ one person to do only administrative work onboard
Only a few years ago there was a radio officer onboard all ships. When modern IT was implemented on the ships including GMDSS the need for a dedicated radio officer was eliminated. But the radio officer had many other duties. He/she was in addition to the communication work a substantial administrative resource for the captain and the chief engineer. The amount of paperwork has increased in a dramatic way and the crew has been cut down to a minimum. This is a major stressor for the crew. We want the captains to concentrate on being good leaders, ensure safe sailing, and to be a visible profile onboard. Not being drowned in paperwork. The profile could be a normal office clerk with a short tailor-made education – or alternatively, it could be a navigation officer – the benefit in that would be that he could assist in duty when officers need time off. An even more efficient way could be to employ a minimum of one dual officer on board every ship. This profile would be able to assist both the navigating officers and the engine crew when needed and could furthermore take watch duties to ensure days off as mentioned above.

Gymnasium onboard must be mandatory
Gym onboard should be mandatory and instead of the interpretation of the existing blue book where sailors can continue sailing with hundreds of kg overweight, it could be considered to implement similar conditions like in the navy, where you have to pass a test on a biannual basis. The crew is responsible for safety on board the ship. If you have a serious casualty like fire or collision it is important that all crew is fit and can take care of themselves.

Maximum time at sea is 10 weeks
Depending on trade the maximum duty period should be from 2-10 weeks. Naturally, individuals can apply for longer periods but for the young people entering the business by today, 10 weeks is a very long time.

Conclusion
The above-mentioned ideas are not to be implemented overnight. Furthermore, there is a competition problem if other nations refuse to follow the rules. As it is now, we have only one body to implement rules in the maritime business. That is IMO – and IMO has no legal power. IMO can suggest a resolution but it will only go into force when a sufficient number of nations have signed the resolution. It is an extremely slow and inefficient way of implementing rules but it is the only way as it is now. First, the blue business in Denmark needs to agree on a national level on how we should plan for the future. When we have reached a consensus about the message to be forwarded, we should try to get support from the most important seafaring nations, like Germany, Holland, Norway, and Greece. Based on this paper we could start to work on creating a syndicate, globally strong and influential to make legal changes. The syndicate should represent all interests in the maritime cluster from all maritime nations and could be organized under the IMO umbrella. We have a common playground when we talk certificates for officers, it should be possible to implement certificates and authorizations for all the shore-based positions in the maritime cluster. We need to present a secured plank to walk ashore when the officers are ready. The resistance from the business to make the plank easy to walk has probably been due to the fact that they are afraid that nobody will stay on board the ships. When e.g. a navigating officer has passed the first couple of years a significant amount of hours have been invested in training and then it is actually not attractive for the shipowner that he walks ashore. But even less attractive is it if he chooses to change his profession completely due to demand from his family or due to lack of job satisfaction. By certifying all the various roles in the office the business is furthermore implementing an incentive to stay on board. If a minimum sailing time at sea for becoming a superintendent is e.g. 3 years as a senior, you would think twice before jumping ashore too soon. A lot of senior profiles in the business have called for action – now it is time to get the hands up from the pockets and begin the work. The alternative is not attractive. We need to see each step forward as a success for our strategy and not let us be discouraged by the enormous challenge.

38 years, General Manager for
Jakob le Fevre is a Master Mariner educated at Svendborg Navigation School. He has sailed for several Danish ship owners, from small coasters to the biggest container ships. He has had various top management positions in international companies with a focus on the maritime business where he has been involved in business development, sales, and marketing. He relocated to England to take charge of a German-owned company as managing director and has had an intensive traveling activity to most maritime focal points in the world. In September 2010 he was appointed general manager for Job2sea.com. Jakob is very active on online social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter and runs the Maritime Professional group on LinkedIn with more than 6000 members from the industry. He did a presentation about recruitment and social media in Nyborg hosted by EMUC on January 27. and will be presenting at the next HR conference in Dubai on April 12.

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