Survey shows how crew vote with their feet

Shipping companies should be aware that it is not only salary levels that determine which employer a seafarer selects – fringe benefits are playing an important role in attracting and keeping senior staff, a crew survey has revealed.

Access to the internet (both free or paid) tops the list of must-haves for today’s seafarers, while other attractive benefits are medical insurance, pensions and paid certification.

The Seafarers’ Employment Condition Survey 2019 was conducted by Danica, a Hamburg-based crewing specialist.

Almost 10,000 seafarers took part in the survey, conducted between May and September this year. The majority of respondents were senior officers and more than 50% had 24 months or more experience in their current rank.

The survey also demonstrated that crew vote with their feet – if they find a better offer they are more than willing to move companies. However, despite this workplace fluidity, the survey showed that the majority of seafarers were happy to recommend their most recent company as an employer.

Announcing the findings during this week’s Crew Connect Global event in Manila, Danica managing director, Henrik Jensen, said: “It is our experience that access to the internet is a very important parameter when seafarers are selecting an employer.

“Our survey shows that 80% of the seafarers who do not have internet access today would move jobs in order to get it. This is a huge warning to those shipping companies who do not offer crew internet access onboard their vessels,” he said.

Other interesting news from the survey include the fact that close to 50% of the crew members responding have free access to the internet, and 15% have medical insurance as a part of their remuneration package.

Most seafarers (55%) have worked for two or more companies over the past three years with 74% of respondents saying they would change jobs for a higher salary. 32% of those surveyed said they would change jobs to get access to the internet.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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