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Renilson ... increasing shortage of seafarers and its future
impact on the global maritime industry

Maritime industry recruitment issues in focus

ABU DHABI, September 1, 2015

The lack of well-qualified seagoing and shore-based personnel will be dicussed at a marine conference to take place in Abu Dhabi next month, as investmnet into the human element falls short of commitment to fleet and facilities development.
 
Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East 2015, which will run from October 5 to 7 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, will look at the challenges in recruiting and retaining experienced personnel.
 
The conference and exhibition will once again address the hot topics and issues facing the industry with people and performance a major consideration for any owner, operator or employer. 
 
Dr Martin Renilson, dean, Maritime, Higher Colleges of Technology, said: “The increasingly severe shortage of seafarers and its future impact on the global maritime industry has long been discussed and even back in 2005, the BIMCO / ISF Manpower Update 2005 forecast a shortage of 27,000 maritime officers worldwide by 2015."
 
A forum session 'The Human Element' will focus on the strategies required to tackle the growing shortage of suitably trained and experienced seagoing personnel available to workboat operators in Gulf waters.  
 
It will also address rising concern about the lack of shore-based marine personnel, which includes well-trained surveyors, within the region.
 
With more than 90 per cent of global trade dependent on shipping, the worldwide shortage of well-qualified seafarers and, specifically for the Gulf region, the ongoing challenge of deploying the right seagoing personnel for specific projects, is adding to the pressure being put on the industry to address the recruitment challenge. 
 
This is being further exacerbated by the need for a proactive recruitment drive targeted at a younger career-seeking audience, for whom the maritime industry holds little or no appeal due to the long hours and relative isolation of a sea-going role.
 
“Investment into marine assets and new service facilities for offshore vessels and other types of workboats is often the priority, but the need to put in place highly skilled personnel, and teams, to operate these vessels safely and effectively is often a lower priority, yet is essential to the overall commercial success of any operation,” Dr Renilson.
   
“This session is not only timely but presents an invaluable opportunity for leading industry practitioners to flag the issues they are facing in their own sphere of operation and, together with their peers, discuss and debate solutions to recruiting and developing the requisite talent,” he added.
 
According to Dr Renilson, civil engineering projects, new port developments, land reclamation and offshore energy exploration and production are all key drivers of workboat demand in Gulf waters. 
 
Additionally, offshore service vessels of various types are becoming more complex with a higher degree of automation and more advanced station-keeping ability, which, in turn, requires an increasingly skilled operating team.
 
“More skilled operators means increased training costs as well as higher salary packages and a more competitive employment marketplace, yet this is still not being reflected in day rates, and there is obvious pressure to change in order to attract the best people for the job,” he noted.
 
The two-hour session will be moderated by Joe Brincat, vice president Middle East, ABS, with a series of four technical presentations followed by an interactive audience Q&A opportunity.
 
Other sessions this year include a Leaders’ Forum; the Seatrade Technology Forum; a Finance Forum as well as two special regional ‘power hours’ about operational issues in the Caspian with another dedicated to Africa. - TradeArabia News Service



Tags: Conference | offshore | Workforce | marine | lack | Skill |

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