Young people today are very dynamic and the maritime industry must start actively investing in them to create a positive impact, experts during the 2022 CAREER4SEA Forum argued and gave their advice on those interested in joining a career both onboard and ashore.
Namely, all speakers at the event answered from their perspective the following question:
Q: What is your key message/ advice to young people who are interested in shipping?
Costas Th. Kontes, Managing Director, V.Ships Greece Ltd.
Through shipping, the young people can have an international career and many opportunities for development. They will work hard but they will be rewarded.
Irene Notias, Country Manager, Sing Fuels Hellas & Founder & Director, Project Connect NPO
My advice is to join Project Connect, this is a platform that aims to connect people onboard and ashore and exchange experiences with the aim to understand the different roles.
Johan Smith, Head of Wellness, Sailors’ Society
I would tell to young people to be patient and look for opportunities to evolve. In a recent survey, 55% said their biggest fear is not getting a job; so, my advice is not to give up, the young generation is so resourceful and resilient! Instead, try to develop yourselves with a powerful skillset. Also, hear and have the good stories as an example, i.e. these of the many female seafarers that can really make a difference in the industry.
Evangelos Tzitzis, Unmanned Systems Manager , Diaplous Group
I would specifically suggest to the technology savvy professional engineers to look in the challenging environment of shipping in order to advance their knowledge and support the industry. From my point of view, the most challenging area or disciple to work for the automation is the shipping industry. We have worked a lot in other sectors, i.e. oil and gas, but what we have encountered on a vessel is way more different. So, join the industry and share your passion!
Cara Carter, Director, Halcyon Recruitment
In whatever area/ sector will choose, young people should keep in mind that commitment and dedication is definitely what it takes to work in this industry. Although the salaries might be attractive, there are many other industries now that are competing. Shipping gives the great opportunity to travel the world but equally there is lot of time away from your family, so there is always a trade-off. In terms of joining the industry, young people can have a career that will continually evolve and open opportunities around the world. Also, there is much variety in this industry that can reward people throughout their different life phases.
Capt. Spyros Kyriakopoulos, Training Manager, Prime
Shipping is a challenging and very exciting industry; every day is a different day that involves problems and solutions, challenges and opportunities. If someone loves the adventure, then he/she has to join shipping. Albeit the difficulties, if you are passionate, you can succeed.
Nina Natsolari, HR Manager, ERMA FIRST
I would say to the new talents that there are plenty of roles and jobs either in the maritime industry or the supportive industries. So, set a goal, stick to that and learn. Be all ears in order to acquire knowledge and experience.
Elpiniki Stylogianni, HR Manager, Almi Tankers S.A.
The shipping industry is widely known as a high risk industry and very demanding one, so this should be kept in mind when young people are applying for positions. Quality, diligence and persistence are very important. For many people outside is a very glamorous industry as well but a lot of hard work is essential in order to grow in this industry
Stamatios Tzanakis , Programme Leader, Metropolitan College
I would like to especially advise the new cadets to get involved; first of all you have almost ensured vocational rehabilitation, very fast promotion but as every pro comes with a con, there is a trade-off to everything; the money comes but you are missing your family, again a high salary comes with a lot of responsibilities, but not be afraid to take responsibilities and be useful and productive. I think this is a very good vacation to follow that you will not regret it!
Oleksandr Kovalenko, Chief Officer, Ukrainian, Crude Oil Tanker, Euronav
My advice is to stay strong; young people who are interested in a career at sea have to be strong characters especially if we are talking about officers who in the future they will become Chief Engineers or Captains as they have to be prepared to become leaders and make decisions. But first of all, they should keep in mind to be humans; this is vital for life onboard and their relationships with other crew members.
Capt. Panagiotis Georgoulopoulos, Master, Maran Dry Management Inc.
I would advise young people to continuously study, learn and acquire knowledge even they feel they have much experience. Shipping is a dynamic industry where many things change; so, in order to progress, they need to be informed about the new requirements and always up-to-date.
Dimitrios Kylafis, Chief Engineer, Maran Gas Maritime Inc.
My key message for those who are interested in a seafaring career is to study, have obedience, respect of every seafarer onboard and focus on safety. Safety comes first!
Capt. Theodoros Thymiakos, Master, Maran Tankers Management Inc.
My key message is to protect yourself and other crew members. Safety onboard is of paramount importance. The new generation should be dedicated, focused and motivated to their targets. My advise to young people is set targets and do your best to achieve them, don’t give up albeit the challenges!
Capt. Nikolaos Tsakalis, Master/Aframax/Suezmax,Greece, Kyklades Maritime Corporation
I would advise young people first of all to be sure that a seafarer job is what they would like to do. Always be sincere with themselves and their colleagues and also don’t hesitate to make questions and learn from others, ask for advice and for help. When onboard, you should ask and communicate with other crew members; don’t assume this is a silly question, there are no silly questions onboard.
Capt. Sudhir Malhotra, Senior Surveyor Loss Prevention, Standard Club.
My key message would be that shipping is integral to everything ; for example, containerization has changed the world, energy is transported on ships. Therefore, it is not a career where once you go on ships you are stuck there. There is more if you choose a career at shipping industry as there are many opportunities and career paths. In these challenging times, industry has realized the importance of seafarers. Seafarers are key workers and integral to the entire world supply chain and life onboard gets better.
Capt. VS Parani, Vice President – Marine, Tufton Asset Management Ltd.
A seafaring career is definitely not an easy job and involves long working hours. However, it is a good choice as you can get very good job satisfaction and decent money. So, it is an attractive and rewarding career but be prepared for challenges. Also, you can evolve professionally because even after a career at sea you have opportunities ashore.
Sue Terpilowski, Managing Director, Image Line Communications Ltd
From a project we conducted with WESS, we found that what attracts the younger generation is that shipping is a world of opportunities. The young people consider shipping gives them the opportunity to travel, meet people from different cultures, religions, and behavior onboard, so they have like a microorganism of the world and a family. But we need to be realistic; it’s not a job for everybody so we should not oversell it otherwise we are going to have much more problems onboard. Therefore, it is about attracting the right people for the right jobs within the industry and making it welcoming, showing them how to be part of it.
Capt. Sokratis Tigkos, Crew Manager/Marine Manager, Omicron Ship Management
I would recommend to the young generation to pursue a career at sea; it is an international job, without borders, with good money where you can gain experience and meet different cultures. But I would like to highlight that we need to familiarize the new comers with the demands and the challenges onboard. Also, the conversation about a career at sea should not include only the good salaries but we need to promote that the living conditions are better now and there is daily communication with people ashore as internet is available.
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The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.