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When freight rates collapsed in September 2008 it looked like being a long hard winter and while 2009 was a tough year for maritime recruitment, particularly in the commercial market, 2010 couldn't be more different. Spinnaker is seeing a very active market and great successes in all three of its divisions – commercial, professional services and technical.

The professional services division is very busy with legal, claims and sales roles, although unsurprisingly ship finance and banking have yet to pick up to a great extent. However we are seeing more activity and vacancies in the P&I underwriting market.

The commercial division is as busy as it has ever been, although the emphasis at the moment is on recruitment around physical trading rather than the derivatives and FFA market. The general increase in trading CIF as opposed to FOB has meant the number of employers with a need for chartering/freight trading and operations staff has increased. Competitive ship broking firms are also actively recruiting, in direct contrast to a year ago.

The technical division, which never crashed like the commercial market, is pretty much back to 2008 levels. One difference we are seeing at Spinnaker is that whereas in 2008 a lot of recruitment was happening after the first interview, in 2010 a lot of companies are being more careful about their recruiting and we are seeing a lot more second and third interviews.

Or, again(!), perhaps it's just the summer holidays and people are having to go back to meet the people they couldn't meet the first time around…

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