Decreasing confidence in shipping jobs market: survey

The 10th annual Maritime Employee Survey has revealed decreasing confidence in shipping industry job security as volatile market conditions continue to challenge the sector.

The survey results gathered from 2,800 respondents show that nearly two-thirds, or 62%, of shore-based shipping industry employees are concerned over job security, particularly those employed in vessel operations, compared to 56% last year.

Job security was ranked as the most important aspect by 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%.

"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,” said Heidi Heseltine, ceo of Halcyon Recruitment.

“Combined with continued slow economic growth, an uneasy geopolitical backdrop and fragile economies, uncertainty for employees has only heightened.”

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.

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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,” Heseltine said.

“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.”

Maritime industry recruiter Halcyon Recruitment, in collaboration with training provider Coracle, published its 10th annual Maritime Employee survey.

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.

Posted 27 March 2019

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Lee Hong Liang

Asia Correspondent

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