Maritime CEOOperations

Maritime CEO Forum: Addressing the management talent squeeze

Singapore: There’s less than a month to go until the inaugural Maritime CEO Forum and the line-up of speakers and attendees continues to draw the top echelon in shipping. The event takes place on the afternoon of March 15 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

Split into four sessions, one of the most interesting parts is likely to be a high-level human resources discussion.

Shipping continues to suffer recruitment problems both ashore and at sea. Leading names will debate how to make shipping a more attractive job option and how to lock people into long term careers. The moderator of the session is Mark Charman, ceo of Faststream Recruitment, who has been in Singapore this week with startling statistics that show 48% of more than 2,000 employees surveyed in the Asian maritime sector are looking to leave their current employer in 2016. Speaking with Maritime CEO late last November, Charman noted: “With a declining offshore sector, a flat dry sector and overcapacity in liner we are going to see for the first time in a long time unemployed seafarers. The common theme in shipping for the next 12 months is going to be change. And there is going to be a lot of it.”

Also on the same stage as Charman will be P.B. Subbiah, director of human resources at Hong Kong’s largest shipowner by fleet size, Pacific Basin. Subbiah tells Maritime CEO today: “The biggest challenge the industry faces in recruitment at the moment is creating viable shore based career options for young people. While we see many graduates seeking employment in shipping, acute focus on cost makes it very hard for many companies to accommodate them. This will create a squeeze on well trained junior and middle management talent in the next five to 10 years.”

Bjørn Højgaard, ceo of one of the world’s largest shipmanagers, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group, is another panellist, as is another former seafarer, Frank Coles, the ceo of Transas. Speaking in Singapore last month, Coles called for a radical rethink on the role of the master in today’s shipping environment.

“The interaction between ship and shore has to change,” Coles urged. Captains today are essentially chief executives, Coles said, but minus the management team to share the load of the business plan.

“The traditional hierarchy and ship roles are outdated,” Coles said. “There is simply too much regulation, data, responsibility, tasks for it to be practicable,” he added.

This and plenty more will be debated in the forum’s Crewing and HR session. Other sessions include Dry Bulk, Tankers and Vessel Efficiency. For more details, click here.

Maritime CEO Forum is sponsored by Anglo-Eastern Univan Group, Dualog, DVB Bank, FCM Marine & Energy, Navigate Response, RightShip, Rustibus, Transas, Unimarine Lubricants, Veritas Petroleum Services, V.Ships and Wartsila.

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