oXeans, in collaboration with Interior Yacht Services (IYS), launched its all-inclusive crew management service at the Monaco Yacht Show, a relatively new concept in the superyacht industry, but one that over the past 12 months has been predicted for the future. The Crew Report speaks to oXeans crewing consultant Suzan Westenberg, an ex- chief stewardess with 10 years’ experience in the superyacht industry, about how the new service has the potential to alter the recruitment map.

The concept: recruit new Dutch candidates from the hospitality sectors of the hotel and aviation industries, provide them with their STCW, ENG1 and their Luxury Hospitality Interior Introduction course free of charge and, as their employer, place them on board a super yacht.

Where did this concept come from?

We are founded out of Xelvin Yacht & Shipbuilding, a seconding company in the maritime industry. Xelvin Yacht & Shipbuilding has over 150 technical people working on new build projects in various Dutch shipyards. During the new builds we received a number of requests about whether we could deliver crew as well. I have been working in the industry for 10 years as a chief stewardess on various yachts ranging from 50m to 130m and my problem was always that when we had good crew it was very difficult to keep them, especially the interior crew. We started looking at the recruitment and the recently implemented rules and regulations conform the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) and we decided we would like to provide high quality crew before they even go to the yacht.

The oXeans crewing service is focused on interior crew – why?

With interior crew there is a lot of chopping and changing. That’s what we are trying to avoid. We would like to provide stable crewmembers who are looking for a career within the industry instead of those who stay on a yacht just to earn money for the season and, when they’re leaving, taking all the experience and training with them.

You’re actively approaching the hospitality and aviation industry – two sectors the super yacht industry often looks to for examples of stand-out service. What do you hope to achieve by doing this?

I recruited our initial 12 candidates from hotel management and air hostess schools. We’ve already been in contact with hotel management schools here in Holland, together with Peter Vogel from IYS. We’ve been in contact with a hotel management school that would like to set up a mainstream year for luxury hotels and luxury yachts in early 2015; IYS will be guiding the students through the year and oXeans will be helping with the hiring and selection procedure. After completing the year they can come and start working for oXeans.

We’ve been in contact with a hotel management school that would like to set up a mainstream year for luxury hotels and luxury yachts in early 2015

As a company offering all-inclusive crew management, who are you targeting with the service; captains, owners or management companies?

All three. We want to offer customer possibilities. At the moment it’s not possible to offer the management of a yacht’s full crew because we don’t have enough crewmembers on our books, but that is our goal and where we would like to go. Since launching the concept at the Monaco Yacht Show, where we spoke to various captains and a couple of management companies; it has been well received.

What is the primary benefit of offering this type of service to captains, owners and management companies?

We would like to provide captains, owners and management companies a good night’s sleep by ensuring high-quality crew, top service and maximum flexibility. The crew will be part of oXeans; the MLC states that the employer is responsible for paying the taxes, not the employee, and that’s where our benefit lies. We take care of the taxes, social security, flights to and from the yacht and the interior crew training. The only thing the captains, owners or management company are going to get is an itemised invoice once a month.

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