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Understanding the complexity of retention among seafarers: a perspective of Australian employers


Caesar, LD and Cahoon, SC and Fei, J, Understanding the complexity of retention among seafarers: a perspective of Australian employers, Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs, 12, (1) pp. 16-41. ISSN 1836-6503 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/18366503.2020.1736242


Research on seafarer employment has increased over the last two decades; with two-thirds of studies focused on the dynamics of the global shortage of ship officers. The 2015 Global Manpower Update predicts a worldwide shortage of 147, 500 ship officers. Shipping industry employers are struggling to retain new generation ship officers beyond 10 years onboard their vessels. This challenge is severe in developed maritime nations such as Australia. Understanding the complexity of the retention issues (and how they impact ship officer shortage) from the perspective of Australian shipping industry employers is the focus on this paper. A semi-structured phone interview of 20 senior managers of shipping industry employers in Australia was done. The results highlight complex retention issues, a lack of adequate training and lapses in industry regulations as the reasons for the shortage of ship officers. It was also found that Australian shipping industry employers mostly rely on high salaries, recreational facilities and good working conditions as strategies to retain ship officers. The paper contributes to a reflective understanding of practical steps Australian shipping industry employers must take to improve ship officer retention; and further points to the need for a more responsible approach to the employment of seafarers

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seafarers, retention, training, skill shortage, shipping
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Human resources management
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water transport
Objective Field:International sea freight transport (excl. live animals, food products and liquefied gas)
UTAS Author:Caesar, LD (Mr Divine Caesar)
UTAS Author:Cahoon, SC (Professor Stephen Cahoon)
UTAS Author:Fei, J (Associate Professor Jiangang Fei)
ID Code:137877
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Maritime and Logistics Management
Deposited On:2020-03-10
Last Modified:2021-09-08

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