As Seafarers Week draws to a close, I’m here at the Cruise Job Fair networking with cruise companies and meeting people who want to work in the industry.
As a company we are keen to encourage people to consider working in the maritime industry and judging by the size of the queue to enter the event, working on a cruise ship is an extremely desirable career choice for young people, both men and women alike.
Hospitality attracts hard-working employees from all backgrounds and could actually be a fantastic gateway for career progression into other seafaring roles. If being away at sea suits your lifestyle (we know it’s not for everyone) we could be promoting opportunities to take cruise worker careers in a slightly different direction. There’s definitely a pool of talent here today that we could be tapping into – and they won’t be as tough an audience as those whose head and hearts sit more naturally on the shore.
Working in the cruise industry is a great way to begin a career in maritime. The compensation and benefit package can be very desirable. I chatted to the Director of Recruitment at Viking Cruises who told me their staff retention is 95%, most likely due to their excellent benefits which include life insurance, visas, medical, vacation payment plan plus transport to and from the ship, oh and not forgetting free wifi on board for all employees! An essential benefit for young people keen to stay in touch with family and friends back home.
The salaries on board, he told me, are far greater than can be expected in shore based hospitality roles, plus of course food and accommodation is included.
So whether the people at the event today choose the fun and family friendly Disney Cruises or the smaller, more bespoke Viking Cruises – and whether they find themselves attracted to hospitality specifically, or broader maritime – the future for a career at sea is bright!
Helen McCaughran, Business Development Consultant, HR Consulting, Spinnaker Global