SHORTAGE IN SPITE OF CRISIS by Ligaya Caban
maritime professionals who work at the ‘sharp end’. This includes seafarers’ unions, maritime education and training institutions and manning agents.
However, Chinese seafarers are available for international service may be more limited, with the Philippines and Russia as important sources of officers, followed closely by Ukraine and India.
The global supply of officers is forecast to increase steadily but is predicted to be outpaced by increasing demand.
Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) President Conrado Oca says on ratings, “(T)he industry is also looking into the wastage rate of officers as many end up as ratings when they are not able to undertake the necessary training to qualify for officer licensure. In the Philippines, this has even contributed to the huge number of ratings seeking employment.
Some officer categories are in especially short supply, including engineer officers at management level and officers needed for specialised ships such as chemical, LNG and LPG carriers. Surplus.
There remains a shortage of marine officers, despite the current crisis in the global shipping, particulary in container, dry bulk, LNG tanker ships and oil and offshore industries. Dr. Oca of AMOSUP remains positive on the trend, given fundamentals in the country. The latest Manpower Report from Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) forecasts a serious future shortage of seafarers: •
Current shortfall of about 16,500 officers (2.1%)
Additional 147,500 officers by 2025.
The report released last May includes data from 2010-2015 and, for the first time, analysis of qualitative data from
The report suggests that in the past five years the industry has made good progress with increasing recruitment and training levels and reducing officer wastage (i.e. retaining qualified seafarers and increasing the number of years which they serve at sea). But the report indicates that, unless training levels are increased significantly, the growth in demand for seafarers could generate a serious shortage in the total supply of officers. The report, however, estimates there is a current surplus of about 119,000 ratings (15.8%), with demand only having increased by about 1% since 2010. The report sees China as having overtaken the Philippines as the largest single source of seafarers qualified for international trade (but the Philippines is still largest in ratings).
The continuing huge investments in MET facilities speaks well of the confidence of ship owners with the employable qualities and competency of Filipino seafarers – both rating and officers. Specialized training facilities have been given much focus so that more can qualify to man the specialized ships of the world fleet. While it is true that other labor sending nations are trying to catch up with the Philippines, their officers are heavily demanded by their own fleet, as in the case of China. The other major sources of qualified officers also follow what happens in the country and what we do in the industry.” Oca remains positive, “For as long as we remain focused on education and training, and with the social partners cooperating well towards a common goal, there are fewer reasons why we cannot remain the Crewing Capital of the World.” Actions. Oca observes “The BIMCO/ICS Report presents the same trend as when the last report was released almost a decade ago.