Shoreside - Transition from sea to shore

03 January 2018

Shoreside transition from sea to shore | Faststream Recruitment

The 1,200 office based maritime professionals who answered our survey agreed that ex-seafarers generally make good workers, with only 5% saying that they struggle to adapt. However, one third did note that ex-seafarers do need a good deal of initial support in the office. Our experience of placing numerous ex-seafarers into office roles has shown us that companies who have good support and training programmes are the ones who are most likely to retain their staff for the long term. Southern EuropeJapan / KoreaScandinaviaSouth AmericaChinaMiddle EastUKUSANorthern Europe Singapore.

With competition as hot as ever between the various shipping centres in Europe and Asia, we thought it would be interesting to find out where our ashore workers thought that the best opportunities lie over the coming decade. 37% think Singapore alone and 26% Europe. But is this a fair reflection of the sheer numbers of jobs available?

A recent report published by Faststream following a survey to senior executives in the industry revealed that Singapore would hold the largest pool of industry talent over the next 5 years which underlines just how much the Lion City has grown as a maritime centre from an employers’ perspective.

Indeed Faststream’s Singapore office has had the fastest growth within the organisation's network since it was set up in 2006; but London still remains arguably the world’s top maritime centre, providing employment for at least 15,000 and home to every type of maritime business imaginable. However, the sentiment amongst employers and employees seems firmly in the favour of the East, and Singapore in particular.

"THERE’S A LARGE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT SALARY LEVELS IN ASIA. THE PERCEPTION OF EUROPEAN AND USA BASED WORKERS ABOUT PAY IN ASIA WAS FURTHEST AWAY FROM THE REALITY."

We also asked our shorebased respondents whether or not they thought that their counterparts around the world earn more or less than them before tax. The results formed an extremely mixed opinion by shorebased employees which is representative of common ‘assumptions’ which are broadly made when it comes to paying. There was very little difference between the perception of technical and commercial roles.

Yes, salaries are higher in the USA, however, it is the perception of Asian salaries which is furthest away from reality. Whilst technical staff in Asia often earn on par with their European counterparts, commercial roles such as a charterer or shipbroker often get paid more in Asia than anywhere else in the world. European and USA based workers seemed to think the opposite with 47% and 64% respectively believing that their Asian counterparts get paid less than them, whilst workers in Asia seemed more confident in the pay levels against both workers in Europe and USA - 64% of Asian workers thought they got paid more than their counterparts in Europe and 69% thought the same against USA shore-based employees.

There are a number of other conclusions which you can draw from these results, however, one of the most interesting is how workers perceive their own pay against their counterparts within the same continent. Whilst workers in the USA and Asia felt happy with their own salary, European employees were by far the most negative with over 43% stating that their counterparts around Europe earn more than they do.

However you look at it, the maritime sector is a complex playing field for both employers and employees. In the next report, we’ll look further into how perceptions can play a large part in the decision making process when workers look to change roles.