Shipping and Maritime Industry: How Secure are the Jobs?

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Over half of shore-based maritime employees are actively looking to change jobs and nearly two thirds are worried about job security. Today (Tuesday 26 March) international maritime industry recruiter Halcyon Recruitment, in collaboration with training provider Coracle, published its 10th annual Maritime Employee Survey.

2,800 respondents took part and the results show that 62% (compared with 56% last year) of shore-based shipping industry employees are concerned over job security, particularly those employed in vessel operations. Job security was ranked as the most important aspect (57% of respondents) when considering a career move, followed by the reputation of the employer. 54% of respondents are actively looking to change jobs, a dramatic increase compared to last year’s findings of 28%.

Heidi Heseltine, Halcyon Recruitment Chief Executive Officer, said:

“It is unsurprising to see job security causing concern to employees. Volatile market conditions continue. Companies who are in a strong position financially are often investing by way of mergers and acquisitions. This is happening across all sectors – tanker, gas, dry, offshore, technology, finance, broking – and with some very big players. Combined with continued slow economic growth, an uneasy geopolitical backdrop and fragile economies, uncertainty for employees has only heightened.”

This year the report also looked at diversity and discrimination in the workplace for the first time.

“Diversity is about much more than just gender politics and, shockingly, a quarter of respondents in the maritime sector say that they have been discriminated against in the workplace because of their gender, race, nationality, age or education. A good business is a diverse business and an increasing number of employers are developing diversity and inclusion policies. 69% of respondents to our survey said that diversity and discrimination in the workplace was an extremely or very important issue. I suspect that this trend will only grow in the maritime place and that employers will need to catch-up,” he added.

Responses to the annual survey were drawn from all the key maritime centres and included respondents representing all the major trades working in both commercial and operational roles. The research was undertaken between December 2018 and January 2019.

Key highlights from the report include:

• 70% of participants feel their employer could do more to achieve a diverse and inclusive workforce.
• 25% of all respondents believe they have been discriminated against at work.
• Less confidence in the shipping jobs market can be seen and job security is now the most important aspect for job seekers when considering a career move.
• The amount of survey participants receiving a bonus is similar to the last two years, but a greater percentage of people are unhappy with the amount they received (although bonus amounts have not changed significantly).
• The Asia Pacific region is still seen by the majority to offer the greatest opportunity for work but considerably less so than in previous years with Europe and the Middle East gaining considerable ground over previous years.
• 54% of participants are looking actively for a new job and a further 41% are not looking but open to offers.
• 69% of brokers/charters/traders received a bonus within the last 12 months.
• Legal/P&I/insurance sectors fared best with respect to salary increases with 50% receiving a pay rise in the previous 12 months.
• Training is still very important with 74% of respondents stating they are motivated to participate in training to order to gain industry specific knowledge and enhance their career development

Sea News, March 27