Sustaining the supply of ship officers: Making a case for succession planning in seafarer recruitment
Caesar, DL, Sustaining the supply of ship officers: Making a case for succession planning in seafarer recruitment, Universal Journal of Management, 1, (1) pp. 6-12. ISSN 2331-9577 (2013) [Refereed Article]
The traditional cadet training system as discussed in the human resource literature on seafarers is epitomic of a succession planning system which primarily ensures that there is a reliable pool of talents from which shipping companies could pick future ship officers; but the vagaries of globalisation coupled with economic pressures is changing the complexion of cadet training for the shipping industry. As a result, what are currently left of cadet training are the relics of poor recruitment practices from shipping industry employers which is evidenced by high attrition rates among cadets. Ensuring a constant supply of cadets to fill the position of retiring and departing ship officers is a necessity; hence the need for a career and talent planning system – succession planning. This conceptual paper examines how succession planning for seafarers can be used as tool towards ensuring sustainability of ship officer supply for employers within the global shipping industry. In particular, the paper focuses on how certain peculiar aspects of the shipping industry; makes succession planning an imperative solution towards ensuring sustainability of skilled labour supply. The paper concludes with recommendations and directions for future research to draw greater attention to solutions for the greater officer shortage.