YEAR OF THE SEAFARER | 80,000 seafarers needed until 2020

Adam Corbett | TRADEWINDS.NO

In the next ten years shipping companies will need another 32,153 officers and 46,881 ratings to crew the world fleet, according to a new Japanese study.

The study was compiled by the Japan International Transport Institute and the Nippon Foundation, as part of a bid to help the industry overcome the labour shortage problem.

At a seminar arranged yesterday at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) the two Japanese bodies tried to generate ideas to boost recruitment.

Their own study of maritime institutes found that while a seafaring job is viewed as having high status and is well paid there are draw backs.

Living conditions at sea are poor and it can cause difficulty in relationships and family life leading many to cut short their career at sea for a land based job.

The industry has not been successful in attracting women either with 94% of all women seafarers working on ferries and cruise ships.

Those who do work in merchant shipping find they have fewer responsibilities than their male counterparts and the working culture is not family friendly.

Shipowner Maria Bottiglieri said her company had started to provide a free company nursery to attract and accommodate more female seafarers.

Peter Cremers, CEO of Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Services, called on the industry to be more attractive to the young by improving the working environment and to use technologies like the internet to promote the opportunities available.

“To make our industry more attractive, the living conditions on board must be improved to be in line with the expectations of the youngsters.

“The minimum requirements must be upgraded so that the accommodation on board feels like a ‘home’ and not a posting to a remote location,” he said.

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