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And the survey shows: Most seafarers content

Written by Nick Blenkey
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APRIL 13, 2015 — Most seafarers are content with life at sea, according to the preliminary results of a new survey that is being carried out as part of the BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report 2015.

Shipping association BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping have published the joint Manpower Report every five years since 1990. It has previously used two main data sources to estimate the current seafarer supply and demand situation: a questionnaire completed by shipping companies and a questionnaire completed by national maritime administrations.

This time around, however, seafarers are also being polled directly, in order to understand their views on life at sea and the outlook for the industry’s manpower in the years ahead. The survey of seafarers is the first of several targeted surveys for this year’s report. Others to be polled will include professors at maritime education and training (MET) institutions, manning agents, maritime unions, and port welfare workers.

More than 500 seafarers have already responded to the survey, representing over 40 nationalities. Some of the preliminary findings:

  • “Happy ships,” timely wage payments and career promotion opportunities were the most popular responses indicated when seafarers were asked about the important factors that influenced their decisions to stay with their current employers;
  • 66% of respondents estimated that it would take them less than three months to secure another job in the industry if they chose to leave their current company; and
  • Basic pay and internet access were the most popular responses provided as improvements in conditions at sea when asked about changes within the past two years.
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