Qualified officer shortage looms

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 March, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 March, 1996, 12:00am

The shortage of qualified and competent officers is bound to escalate unless corrective action is taken, a report says.

The joint 1995 Manpower Update report by the International Shipping Federation (ISF) and the Baltic and International Maritime Council (Bimco) shows that the upward trend in trainee recruitment for officers' posts peaked in 1993.

The decline in trainee recruitment had to be reversed if demand was to be met, the report, published by Mariscene, ISF newsletter, said.

'The figures reveal a 4 per cent global shortage of officers in 1995, a smaller deficiency than anticipated in 1990, principally because the world fleet has not expanded as fast as predicted,' the report said.

It said though the amendments to the International Maritime Organisation's Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) convention should improve competence, they could cut the number of certified seafarers unless governments and industry acted to assist with the implementation. The report said the number of seafarers from OECD countries had continued to fall, dropping 9 per cent since 1990.

'Over the same period, the availability of seafarers from the Far East has grown by 22 per cent,' the report said.