1. Embrace the latest technologies
Today’s younger generations are used to using advanced technology in all parts of their lives. They are more drawn to industries and companies that they perceive as innovative and forward-thinking. While the maritime industry’s rich history is attractive to some, it also contributes to giving shipping companies a “low-tech” image compared to IT for example. It is therefore important to capitalize on new technology and offer new recruits the freedom to innovate.
2. Increase awareness
The reason why the maritime industry struggles with an image problem can be attributed to a lack of knowledge. Many talented young people are not well informed about what a career at sea involves. This means the industry rarely crosses the minds of students and graduates. To change this, shipping companies need to build awareness of their trade through communication, events, and initiatives targeted at under 25s.
3. Offer training courses
It is vital to engage potential employees at an early age. Employers can entice the young generations to shipping by offering them the opportunity to develop new skills. Forging partnerships with education institutions to provide work-based training and apprenticeships is one of the most effective ways to address the shortage of young, qualified recruits.
4. Explain the advantages
A career in the maritime industry has a lot to offer. But few industry outsiders are aware of this. While working aboard a ship can be demanding, it also offers excitement, adventure, and a decent wage. Shipping companies need to do more to promote the benefits. One option is to publish authentic testimonials from young employees, detailing their experience.
5. Nurture a green image
Young people are increasingly conscious about sustainability. Studies have shown that around 80 percent of 13–25-year-olds want to work for companies that care about their impact on the environment. The maritime industry is doing a lot to reduce its footprint, and technological developments are helping it make great strides. Publicizing such achievements will strengthen shipping’s image and attract young people who want to make a difference.
IHS Maritime & Trade (2016), Five Trends Shaping the Global Maritime Industry
p.6 Worldwide Recruitment Solutions (2016), How Can the International Marine Industry Counteract Its Ageing Workforce?
The Seattle Times (2016), Training, Jobs Open Up As Maritime Sector’s Workforce Ages