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Bimco and ICS survey claims seafarers 'content' with life at sea

Bimco and ICS survey claims seafarers 'content' with life at sea
Preliminary results of a survey being carried out by Bimco and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) suggest that seafarer respondents are content with life at sea.

The survey will form part of the sixth five-yearly Bimco/ICS Manpower Report, which will for the first time include opinions from seafarers, lecturers, unions, crewing agents and port welfare staff as well as the usual questionnaire responses from shipping companies and national maritime administrations. The report is used as a benchmark by the industry crewing and ship management industry in terms of seafarer supply.

The initial findings from over 500 respondents covering more than 40 nationalities indicate that prompt wage payments and career progression opportunities are the strongest pulls for attracting and retaining seafarers. Internet access and improved basic pay were the most commonly reported improvements to life at sea over the past two years. Two thirds of those polled believed they could find work with another company within three months if they were to leave their jobs.

The survey also highlights the effect on seafarers of growing regulation withing the maritime industry, with one seafarer responding: "This is a great career, but an increasingly technical and administrative one so it is no longer as much an adventure as simply a job, albeit one with the possibility of adventure!"

Reviewing some of the preliminary results, Aron Sørensen, chief marine technical officer at Bimco, commented: “This survey has provided us with insight into the views of seafarers today. Understanding the key issues for seafarers is especially valuable when attracting and recruiting talented young people to the shipping industry.”

Natalie Shaw, director of employment affairs at ICS, added: “We have just launched a second of the new series of surveys, targeting lecturers at maritime education and training institutions. We look forward to gathering information and views from those at the forefront of maritime training which will be used to enrich the 2015 Manpower Report.”