A View from The Bridge 2019

Posted: December 18, 2019 at 11:00 am

Brexit – We now have some clarity; the UK Election is over and Boris won a “stonking” majority. All eyes are now on the Australian points-based immigration scheme which has been headlined, and how it will operate to ensure we can continue to use essential EU seafarers on UK domestic operations. Given the shortage of UK ratings they should score well. I do worry the limited earnings of a basic rating may not reach the minimum criteria, even when UK minimum wage is used as the base. I am confident the UK Chamber will ensure this position is lobbied to UK Government to safeguard this essential resource.

In my opinion, the SNP picking up more seats at the expense of Labour and the Conservatives, just threatens more division and the prospect of “Neverendum”.

In terms of the general market, it is the same issues faced year on year. A shortage of UK ratings and Senior Engineering personnel, ongoing reliance on Baltic state ratings to fill vacant posts as there is simply not the personnel available domestically. With the EU wage expectations increased as the availability of more UK positions influences the markets, personnel are willing to sit at home and wait for better paid positions to come up (which to a certain extent is happening on the domestic front.) Oil markets have improved in terms of vessel utilisation however rates generally remain in the doldrums.

For Clyde Marine Recruitment this year continues to be one of significant evolution on our digital journey as we introduced our app to Crew Managed Mariners in the summer. In October we rolled out ‘e-payslips’ to our crew managed mariners direct to the individual seafarer digital profile and have received great feedback from our crew. Following this successful trial, we will be rolling out ‘e-payslips’ to all temporary provision of seafarers early in the New Year. Ankaa is not just a labour of love, we are developing something useful for the whole industry. Personal and business investment in the development of this system has been significant, but we are seeing results already as we can demonstrate better compliance and improved security around personal data.

The New Year will also see us launch Digital Recruitment which is very exciting as it will transform, and significantly improve, the way we interact with both the seafarers and our clients. For Seafarers we’re introducing Digital Profiles – a safe place for you to store all your documents and details as well as a secure place to receive your payslips, messages and announcements from the company. For Clients, we’ll soon be sharing all our shortlisted candidates via a secure URL link. This means you’ll be able to view their documents, sea service and details in one place without the need for bulky email attachments. In addition, we will be introducing One Time Passwords (OTP’s) on all seafarer data to further strengthen our Data Privacy compliance and ensure our clients are protected too.

Our innovation & development never stops – next on our long list is automating the production of SEA’s, Joiner Letters as well as Temporary Payroll calculation and approval. Personally, I am very much looking forward to the launch of these new features, it has been a long journey but I’m sure that our clients and our seafarers will find this a most useful tool!

 

In the New Year we will be launching a new and improved website which will see all job applications made via the new digital profiles. All candidates will be asked to create a free digital profile which they can access via the web portal or through our mobile app. We will be the first agency to offer all our registered candidates a mobile app with lots of useful features.

So, let’s raise a glass to 2020 and wish all the very best to our seafarers and clients. I would also like to add my personal thanks for all your support over 2019.

Ian Livingstone

Managing Director

Clyde Marine Recruitment