14 Feb 2014
Demands on designers hint at upward turn
By Rebecca Dark
BMT Nigel Gee is running a recruitment drive in order to manage its increasing design workload, and will be expanding its offices in Southampton to accommodate the influx of employees.
The positions that BMT Nigel Gee will be recruiting for include project managers, naval architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers and outfit engineers. “These are very exciting times for us with large, long term contracts that are driving a need for significant expansion in our design team. Work in both commercial and defence markets has remained strong, but it is the superyacht market in particular that is driving this expansion with new design orders for some of the world’s largest and most prestigious superyachts,” said John Bonafoux, managing director of BMT Nigel Gee, of the expansion.
Seeing an increased workload in the industry and an increased workforce can be seen as a small victory for the superyacht industry, especially in light of reports such as the downsizing of staff at Fitzroy Yachts. Speaking to SuperyachtNews.com James Roy, yacht design director at BMT Nigel Gee said: “Over the last 18-24 months we have seen activity in all of our markets steadily rise, which is unusual but is perhaps a characteristic of the wider marine industry climbing out of recession. As far as the large yacht market is concerned we see quite a few projects going into build that crossed our desks as early concepts back in the relatively quiet 2009-2012 period. We have learned over the years that we need to pro-act ahead of projects rather than re-act, and do so with conviction or we will be leaving it too late to find the quality of skills we need. Taking a long-term view is critical.”
With this rise in design commissions across all areas of the marine industry that Roy noted, it appears to be influencing the approach in which BMT's yachting division is looking to attract its pool of candidates to fill these positions, especially with the rise of the recruitment agent, which, while it assists, can limit the breadth of reach to potential candidates. “The manner in which skilled people find work has changed over the last 10-15 years, and we have found that we have needed to be innovative in the way we look for them also”, Roy said. “We decided that we would try something a bit different and look to cover a wider geography and we aspire to attract people who have as much practical build experience, as they do design/CAD/technology knowledge. So our approach is as much about spreading the word round the wider industry.”
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