News & Updates

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A View From The Bridge – December 2020

Dec 21 2020

The festive season is approaching and the politics are much the same as this time last year, and from the last time I wrote in October – Brexit, deal or no deal? At least we did get some clarity around EU workers on domestic trade.

The Covid vaccine is a very welcome intervention, although it will be a little more time before we see the benefit and get back to some kind of normality.

In regard to the UK crewing market, we are seeing many experienced senior officers from offshore and tanker backgrounds searching for pastures new after being displaced. The availability of permanent work is very poor, but traditional shipping continues to operate, and there are temporary opportunities available. Many of these personnel have welcomed the opportunity to work on less specialised vessels, bringing their significant experience, and providing them with the opportunity to broaden their experience and take some available work.

The availability of deck and engine ratings continues to surprise us in light of the well-publicised redundancies, it remains difficult to find personnel to fill some temporary vacancies as they arise. Positions for stewards have come out worst in this Covid market, with significant reductions in passenger traffic and little requirement for passenger catering.

Junior officers continue to be a major problem. Cadets are still coming through and there is nowhere available for them to get single handed watch keeping experience. The industry really needs to look at possibly reducing numbers and making an obligation to employ the ex-cadets once qualified for a number of years, instead of just releasing them to the market.

Traditional Recruitment will evolve as we sail our digital voyage, and we already see first-hand  how our crew coordinators are now able to post positions, manage applications, get client approval without having to go to the consultants for applicants. This makes for a more efficient and lean business where we can work smarter and faster. Thanks to the digital system, we can now avoid rekeying data on joining documentation which has provided us with a 67% time saving.

There will always be a place for recruitment providers like us but the market is changing and we want to be at the front edge of the curve. Our database has grown from zero to over 11 000 digital profiles in just 8 months, this is testament to digital being the best course to chart into the future for us all. We are filling positions faster and more efficiently, with positive feedback from both clients and candidates. In the New Year we will look to provide the real-time view of on-contract personnel to our clients, we are also working on building timesheets in an electronic environment, again moving the game ahead.

I would like to wish you all my very best over the festive period and thank our clients and candidates for your continuing support. Let’s raise a glass and hope 2021 has a better year in store