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Forecast: Maritime Industry will need almost 150,000 more seafarers by 2025

Image Courtesy: Offshore and Home Trade Seamen’s Welfare Trust

(WMN)Unless seafarer training levels
are increased significantly, the growth in demand for seafarers could generate
a serious shortage in the total supply of officers as the latest five-year
BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report forecasts that an additional 147,500 officers
will be required by 2025 to service the world merchant fleet.

Launched at the
International Maritime Organization, the reports identifies that
the current shortfall stands at 2.1%, amounting to some
16,500 officers, while some officer categories are in a really short
supply, including engineer officers at management level and officers needed for
specialised ships such as chemical, LNG and LPG carriers.

Although the global
supply of officers is forecast to increase steadily, this is predicted to be
outpaced by increasing demand.
In the past five
years the industry has made good progress with increasing recruitment and
training levels and reducing officer wastage, as the report estimates that
there is a current surplus of 15.8%, about 119,000 ratings, with
demand only having increased by about 1% since 2010.
However, unless
training levels rise, a shortage in total supply of officers could emerge.
continuing efforts to promote careers at sea and improve levels of recruitment
and retention, the report suggests it cannot be guaranteed that there will be
an abundant supply of seafarers in the future,”
 ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, said.
China is thought to
have overtaken the Philippines as the largest single source of seafarers
qualified for international trade. While data from international shipping
companies suggests that the extent to which Chinese seafarers are available for
international service may be more limited, the Philippines and Russia are seen
as equally important sources of officers, followed closely by Ukraine and
The Manpower Report
should act as a wake-up call for the industry to address the issue of the
accelerating shortage of seafarers, according to InterManager.
people are our assets and we need to develop a strategy whereby shipping is
once again seen as a career of choice for tomorrow’s young talented people,”
 InterManager Secretary-General, Kuba Szymanski, said.
is no avoiding the fact that the global fleet is increasing and more manpower
is needed. However, we are demanding more from current seafarers rather than
recruiting even more cadets into the market. And these cadets need training
berths on our ships if they are to fulfil their true potential. Attracting new
seafarers and retaining them will test the industry, but we are taking action
now with initiatives such as the single window, paperless shipping and project
MARTHA to address this issue,”
 Szymanski added.

Credit: World Maritime News 

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