Superyachts in 2030 – The Next Generation
For the second session on the second day of TSF, we discuss the lack of human capital in the industry…
For the second session on the second day of TSF, we invited three delegates on stage to discuss potential solutions for the lack of human capital in the industry. On stage were Liam Dobbin, of Wilsonhalligan, Marianne Danissen from Camper and Nicholsons, and Margarita Amam representing IMS GmbH.
Margarita Amam commanded the panel discussion with authority and vigour, challenging stakeholders to consider why they aren’t looking to recruit from diverse talent pools in comparable industries. During the lunch break, various delegates noted that this year’s event felt like it was ‘punchier’ and more ‘candid’, a seemingly welcome evolution of the forum as the crowd applauded many of Amams statements.
One delegate working in insurance, who had never worked on a superyacht before, asked why there hadn’t been a simple manifesto published outlining the top ten issues and solutions for recruiters. Another delegate working in interior design replied to the comment saying, “Writing a ten-point manifesto is not easy, if that was a solution it would have happened ten years ago and we wouldn’t have the problem now.” To which Amam replied,
“Yes, but you didn’t have people like me on the stage ten years ago.”
Amam also urged the crowd to implement solutions that would create a more colourful and diverse industry. The panel agreed that this was the only way to make the industry more appealing. When Ken Hickling asked how the industry could convince clients that this was indeed the way forward, Danissen answered, “That shouldn’t even be a question. It has to be okay.”
Liam Dobbin also highlighted the hit Netflix show ‘Below Deck’ as being the elephant in the room. “This TV show is a lot of the younger generations first impression of the industry and that is not good.” Dobbin explained that “Below Deck is not doing our industry any favours. Young people coming through the ranks just see yachting as a way to live a great life like a reality star, which of course they can, but they aren’t being exposed to the full spectrum of career opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Danissen encouraged the panel to consider how unappealing it is becoming to start your career on a superyacht, “How are you going to get people to join when they have no work-life balance? Look at all of the big companies like Google for example, one of their major targets is to make sure that their employees are happy, feel stable, and feel productive. You need to offer reliability and at least a healthy working environment.”
Everyone agreed that it was absolutely paramount that something is done as soon as possible before a crisis point is reached. Although the conversation was lively, engaging, and thought-provoking, delegates will need to walk away with a collective plan of action in order to fix one of the most glaring problems in the industry.
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