Memorandum by The Institute of Chartered
Shipbrokers (FUS 38)
THE FUTURE OF THE UK SHIPPING INDUSTRY
Your letter of 22nd January was awaiting my
return to the office and I must apologise for the delay in replying.
In order that you get a reply by the deadline of 3rd February
I am faxing you a copy of this letter and will mail the original.
My observations on the questions in your letter
are as follows:
Might higher salaries in shore-based jobs actually
encourage people to become cadets, since they can then perceive
a better-paid, more structured career?
There is no doubt that the rewards in shore
based shipping business such as shipbroking, shipmanagement and
agency are lower overall than say in insurance, banking etc. However
the salaries are not such that a cadet would be dissuaded from
a shipping career as a result. I think it is unlikely that higher
salaries for shore based jobs would influence the individuals
initial decision to go to sea. This factor will, of course, influence
the decision to come ashore and the type of employment which is
sought. It would be particularly relevant for a Foreign Going
Master with significant experience.
What is your opinion of "fast track"
merchant navy recruitment?
Clearly on the engineering side fast track graduate
recruitment has advantages providing, of course, it is not detrimental
to the engineering officers long-term career ashore.
In the case of deck officers the advantages
are less clear. There is little to suggest someone pursuing an
academic qualification even specifically maritime based, would
prove suitable for "fast track" qualification as a ship's
officer. (It may well be the initial experience of making nursing
a graduate profession is relevant here-too much classroom teaching
too little practice for what is essentially a practical profession).
What may be worth considering is "fast
tracking" deck officers in the sense that their initial college
education is focused entirely on navigation and seamanship. The
"business" side of their qualifications could be completed
during their sea time. This may increase their available sea time
and thus make them "useful" more quickly. Furthermore
recent developments in the industry mean that many of the tasks
normally handled by a ship's officer are now carried out by computers
ashorefor example cargo stowage.
Additionally a more structured approach for
those wishing to gain academic qualifications while at sea might
enhance employment opportunities ashore.
Would it be possible for shore-based companies
to employ officers with certificates other than Class 1?
Many shipping companies do employ seafarers
with certificates other than Class 1. Indeed a number would prefer
to do so since they are more likely to fit into the office environment
ashore and yet still have the necessary operational experiences
to fulfil their role ashore. Not unnaturally a Master, with his
command experience, does not always find it easy to become part
of a team with a desk in a corner and a PC. There are, of course,
some jobs ashore which are only suited to experienced Foreign
There are undoubtedly some shore based companies
which are not fully conversant with the current certificate requirements
and do not appreciate the level of knowledge and skill which an
officer with a certificate below Class 1 possesses. More information
to the industry on this aspect would undoubtedly be useful.
Mrs B Fletcher BA FICS MCIT
2 February 1999