Shipmanagers have acknowledged that keeping seafarers happy through better welfare is the way to retain talent within the maritime industry
Ever so often, seafarers would hear their employers and managers talk about manning shortage and the labour crunch issues, as well as discussions on how to solve the issue through improving welfare to retain talent. But is it all talk?
In a recent article by splash247, it was acknowledged that there was a gap in seafarer welfare within the industry. For some seafarers, they work on vessels with no internet onboard as it is not mandatory, family carriage is organized at the shipowner’s discretion and there are no rules for direct flights to destinations.
What do shipowners and managers really think?
According to the CEO of Hamburg-headquartered Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Ian Beveridge, the onus is on shipmanagers, as the middleperson, to set an agreed standard and relate it to shipowners. Secretary-general Kuba Kzymanski of InterManager, the association that represents third-party managers, observed that owners have been willing to listen to suggestions of improving the welfare of seafarers after experiencing the labour crisis during the course of the pandemic.
It is no surprise that shipowners and managers have taken it upon themselves to address the issue, as the problems of a shortage of seafarers are worrying. Having basic employment rights and improving the current standards for seafarers is the key to having a sustainable workforce, according to Mark O’Neil, President of Columbia Shipmanagement, “People are at the very core of what we do.”
Another reason why action is being urged now is for the long-term interest of the maritime industry. Based on the current generation of youths, demands regarding job satisfaction would be vastly different from today. The youths of today would expect work-life balance and proper welfare, so the new seafarers of the future would have to be treated differently.
As digitalization envelopes the industry and demands of the workforce develop rapidly, changes and actions have to be made today. Therefore, seafarers can look forward to having a better working environment in the near future.
Crewing Online Media Team
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