Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How long untill the cheap labour takes over?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How long untill the cheap labour takes over?

    I'm a cadet with just about a year left till I sit my orals. From what other officers tell me, it is considerably hard for British officers to get jobs these days as companies prefer cheaper labour from India, the Philippines and Eastern Europe. It isn't like it used to be where British crew were quite common, but now its very rare for members of the crew to be British.
    I'm just wondering how long do us brits have left for working at sea until the cheaper labour takes all the jobs? Say I pass my orals and qualify next year, will I be able to stay a decade or will there be a Philipino in my place?

    The colleges tell us all at the start of our cadetships that there's a shortage worldwide of qualified officers, but what they don't say are that these officers in demand need to be cheap and plentiful. Us Brits are too expensive and always bang on about our rights.

  • #2
    Cheap labour is already here. You're way behind. I had the same stories when i was starting 3 years ago.
    The only solid opportunity for British Officers now is the North Sea and possibly DP work.
    my only wish is that i die real.

    Comment


    • #3
      The cheap labour situation is a bit of a myth. The good guys from the Philippines, India and such like are earning the same, if not more then Brits are. There is, and always will be, a market for good quality officers. You have certain ships which occasionally provide services to the military who employ brits, you have cruise ships who employ them for various reasons, high quality multinationals such as maersk, BP etc. Offshore seems to continue employing brits.
      With a CoC at the moment, you can find work within a few hours of sending your CV to agencies. Just depends whether your willing to accept some of the poorer positions until the good ones come.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nearly all ships are multinational now. Nothing to worry about though - in my experience you will have a harder time moving around as a junior officer because that is where the competition from the foreign nationals is, however when you move up the ranks most shipping companies still prefer well trained competent officers from Western Europe than the cheaper alternative.
        Sectors where you will always be in demand are the ultra-high tech side, Passenger ships, Super Yachts and shore based jobs. You will not be in demand in sectors like Bulk, Basic oil and smaller container ships.
        I think everyone worries when they start off that they will struggle to get a job and that the industry is 'on the way out' however in many ways the industry is more vibrant and exciting than it has been in recent history for British Officers. Just make sure that you secure a first step on the ladder when you qualify.
        Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

        Comment


        • #5
          Both AM and Holynougat make good points and I totally agree with what they say, especially the part about getting your foot on the ladder (hardest thing to do).

          However I'd like to put to bed the points you've raised. For starters, there is a worldwide shortage of good officers and anyone who says otherwise is a wee bit behind. Whilst the shipping industry, from a global financial stand-point, isn't as good as it once was it is slowly recovering. I dispute the point about Owners wanting cheap and plentiful crew. Yes, they don't want the wages to go much higher, but to be honest the wages on a Chemical or LNG tanker are pretty damn good at the moment (more on that in a minute) although they can't really go much higher or it starts getting ridiculous. At the moment, we pay a Chief Engineer on a small chemical tanker approx. $14,000 USD per month and that is not to be snuffed at. Also, we are not the only nationality that bangs on about our rights, all of them do it and I am totally for it, to a certain extent (there are acceptable demands and then there is just overboard).

          The work is there, but like with any job, you just have to convince a company as to why they should hire you. Sitting there saying "the industry has gone to ****, cheap labour, etc" just makes me think of the south park sketch with the goobers (They toook our jobs..). I'd also bet that the people you heard these tales from were older British sailors/malcontents, folks who believe Shipping was at it's prime in the 70's and 80's....
          Last edited by GuinnessMan; 29 May 2012, 10:48 PM. Reason: God damn spell checker!
          I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

          All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

          Comment


          • #6
            There are still a lot of jobs out there for experienced British officers, like on high tech ones such as well intervention drillships and the like, also cruise ships and super yachts etc... I think on the cruise ships it's partly because the passengers would rather see a good looking European on the bridge.

            No disrespect to them, but it is disappointing when you see companies selling out and hiring officers from poor countries like the Philippines, I think DOF seem to have done that as most of their supply boats in the north sea that I've come across have Filipino officers, I hope that other companies don't follow suit. I seem to remember maersk did it a couple of years ago, sacking the European ones and replacing them with Filipinos, but they had so many problems that they tried to get a lot of the ones sacked back, so now maersk still hire British officers. The Norwgians seem to be much better at protecting jobs for their officers in the Norwegian sector in the north sea, and the Australians also have strong unions that make it difficult for foreign nationals to infiltrate, as do the Brazilians, I think it is down to weak government and weak unions (nautilus are a bit of a joke) in Britain that have allowed to many foreign nationals onto the ships operating in the north sea, more needs to be done to protect British jobs.

            Comment


            • #7
              My current ship has an Irish C/O, cadet and leccy, an English (if you count geordie) chief, 3/E, and 3rd mate and a scottish cadet (me). So there are a few brit officers left i guess! Everyone else is a mix of Romanian, Chinese, Indian and Filipino.

              As somebody mentioned above, it is all the older british folk i've met who whinge about how great it was when they could get steaming every night and crash into things, people lost fingers and fell overboard daily, the (british) crew were always battering each other and everyone was riddled with std's.

              Comment


              • #8
                again currently ive a British captain, 2/0, 3/0 and J/0 along with myself so it would seem like theres a few around. Given that when i joined i was the only british national and it has been remarked that so many on a ship is uncommon.
                you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aleorea View Post
                  There are still a lot of jobs out there for experienced British officers, like on high tech ones such as well intervention drillships and the like, also cruise ships and super yachts etc... I think on the cruise ships it's partly because the passengers would rather see a good looking European on the bridge.

                  No disrespect to them, but it is disappointing when you see companies selling out and hiring officers from poor countries like the Philippines, I think DOF seem to have done that as most of their supply boats in the north sea that I've come across have Filipino officers, I hope that other companies don't follow suit. I seem to remember maersk did it a couple of years ago, sacking the European ones and replacing them with Filipinos, but they had so many problems that they tried to get a lot of the ones sacked back, so now maersk still hire British officers. The Norwgians seem to be much better at protecting jobs for their officers in the Norwegian sector in the north sea, and the Australians also have strong unions that make it difficult for foreign nationals to infiltrate, as do the Brazilians, I think it is down to weak government and weak unions (nautilus are a bit of a joke) in Britain that have allowed to many foreign nationals onto the ships operating in the north sea, more needs to be done to protect British jobs.
                  Sailed with one old british ab who told me back in the 70s and 80s he was working for palm line going down to.west africa... Told us he quit deep sea as soon as AIDS came on the scene... Told me it spoiled his fun

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ive sailed with a british c/e , capt , 3/e and german c/e and captain.

                    And this is on small box boats were you would think there wouldn't be any.
                    There were also polish and Bulgarian officers and fillipino crew.

                    The best folk that i have worked under have been the germans , "I know shame to admit but they just knew how to lead and keep folk happy "
                    Maybe I will never be
                    All the things that I want to be
                    But now is not the time to cry
                    Now's the time to find out why

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      so it sounds ok at the moment. But what do you guys think about the long term? Could I spend my whole life at sea or will British seafarers no longer be competitive?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most officers tend to be on the same or similar wage, no matter what country they're from, and Guinnessman's company pays some Filipino officers better than its west Europe equivilants. I think the only way you will make yourself uncompetitive is by being crap at your job.
                        "Crazy like wild wolves threatened by fire, send them all to the bottom of the sea."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ducki52 View Post
                          Most officers tend to be on the same or similar wage, no matter what country they're from, and Guinnessman's company pays some Filipino officers better than its west Europe equivilants. I think the only way you will make yourself uncompetitive is by being crap at your job.
                          That may be true but there are still companies who have a policy of not employing European junior officers. However these companies will still train cadets that they have no intention of ever employing for tax purposes.

                          It doesn't really matter why companies won't employee British officers, its just the fact that they won't which is worrying.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                            That may be true but there are still companies who have a policy of not employing European junior officers. However these companies will still train cadets that they have no intention of ever employing for tax purposes.

                            It doesn't really matter why companies won't employee British officers, its just the fact that they won't which is worrying.
                            If you consider that the training is what you want then it really doesnt matter how it is funded, if compnaies didnt do this then cadetships would only be provided by the few companies that would actually employ you after, this would hugely reduce the number of british officers. So you get a compromise and it seems to work.
                            you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ETwhat? View Post
                              ...if compnaies didnt do this then cadetships would only be provided by the few companies that would actually employ you after, this would hugely reduce the number of british officers.
                              Who is employing all the British officers that the cadetship schemes are churning out? Are they not also training British cadets? Why are the same companies not training British cadets as employ British officers?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X