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Confiànce Employment Services: Why cutting crew costs is an expensive false economy

St Peter Port: Shipping needs to think more long term when it comes to crewing, says Neil Carrington, chief executive of HR specialist Confiànce Employment Services (CES) in an insightful interview with Maritime CEO today.

“When it comes to the crew,” Carrington says, “owners and managers have to get away from the year end bottom line and view the longer term where the real savings of efficient crew management are to be seen.”

He goes on to warn that while crew costs may look like a big number, cutting them doesn’t necessarily represent a big saving and can be “an expensive false economy”.

Carrington believes the trend to outsource total crew management will continue to grow so that professional crew managers can manage the crew from recruitment to retirement whilst shipowners/operators manage the ship.

CES is involved in all forms of marine HR, including offshore, a sector Carrington has strong views about.

“Unfortunately because of the short term approach to life that is adopted by the offshore businesses in general, they have allowed the industry to become overpriced,” he says. Whenever there has been a slump of any description, the first thing to be cut is training, Carrington notes, and that includes the long term competence training which immediately starves the industry of its future workforce. A direct consequence of this is that when things pick up, those who are left have the upper hand and salaries increase accordingly. Also, as the sector slips people leave the industry altogether, either because of age or because they are so used to working offshore for short periods of time that the value of their home life is more important to them and seagoing does not appeal anymore.

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