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MARITIME SKILLS SHORTAGES

TRUTHFULLY?  Probably not.  We talk a lot about them but when push comes to shove very few people seem to believe we’re achieving much.  It’s all about long term investment of course – both employer cash and Y-generation employee being willing to put down his or her i-Phone long enough join the industry in the first place and then stay the course as they rise up the ranks both at sea and ashore. 

In Lloyd’s List last month, MD of Fleet Management Ltd, Kishore Rajvanshy, said that he believes it should be compulsory for an officer to have served three to four years qualified as master before obtaining his master’s licence.  He’s absolutely right of course, but look at where we’ve got ourselves.  Even with the recession easing things a little, we have a host of newbuildings on the horizon, we’re already short of skilled officers and poaching is still rife. 

At the recent meeting of membership association, the Maritime HR Forum, several senior shipping HR executives said no-one is willing to be the one who makes all the investment in training only to have their staff stolen away by the competition.  Sure, being the best employer for training does attract and retain people in theory but it’s hard cash that tempts them away. 

Will current market conditions encourage more loyalty as staff begin to value the job they have, will they force employers to cut training costs or will a new co-operative approach emerge in which employers co-invest in training and endorse minimum standards like those suggested by Mr Rajvanshy? 

Answers on a postcard please.  Or, to find out what other employers are thinking and doing, join the Maritime HR Forum.  For a membership information pack, email soryan@shippingjobs.com.

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