Nautilus International made sure that the issue of maritime skills was high on the agenda at London International Shipping Week (LISW), hosting a seminar on the opening day to focus on shore-based demand for experienced seafarers.
Opening the Shore enough? meeting, general secretary Mark Dickinson warned: ‘It is people who make our shipping and maritime services the success that they are. And without a steady supply of skilled and experienced seafarers there can be no doubt that the sustainability of this vital sector faces a grim future.’
Recruitment into the shipping industry has failed for more than 25 years to reach the levels needed to ensure an adequate supply of seafarers to fill vital posts in maritime industries and services ashore, he added.
Speakers at the LISW Shore Enough? event included Professor Heather McLaughlin, former special advisor to the House of Commons transport committee and now Director of Canterbury Christ Church University Business School, who warned that the growing gap between supply and demand for skilled seafarers threatens to drive up costs for shore-based firms.
Phil Parry, from the shore-based maritime recruitment specialists Spinnaker, presented the results of a survey conducted with Nautilus showing the scale of the demand for seagoing experience ashore.
Master mariner Susan Thomson, now working as marine and projects superintendent with BP, spoke of her company’s programmes to develop young officers and prepare them for shore-based roles.
Arjen Uytendaal, managing director of the Dutch maritime cluster organisation Nederland Maritiem Land, told of his country’s success in boosting maritime employment and training — with Dutch owners promising jobs for all qualifying cadets.
Read the full reports on LISW Shore enough? seminar and other events held during the week in the October Telegraph.