At present there is a topic of high interest across businesses worldwide, further to the consequences of COVID-19, regarding not only existing job security, but also recruitment, what new opportunities are emerging, and who is hiring in which sector. 

On LinkedIn just yesterday, these were the ‘trending’ articles that filled the side-bar, clearly confirming the theme of discussions around the globe:

As the employment market is currently such a key focus for many industries and individuals, SuperyachtNews spoke to Sara Beecher, Crew Consultant at 19 Yacht Crew, regarding a particularly important and vital part of a superyacht - current and potential crew, and what the status of the market is for them. 

“At the moment there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in the industry. Boats seem to be staying close to ports and travel plans are either last minute or yet to be determined. For these reasons I think that employment in the industry carries no guarantees,” began Beecher.

“Having said that there is still room for strong candidates if they happen to be in the right place at the right time,” she continued, explaining that with so many travel restrictions in place it could potentially open up opportunities for candidates with less experience if they happen to be well located.

"There is always room for professional candidates with transferable skills, and if a candidate is in a good location for hiring (not having to travel far to join a vessel) then it may be a path worth following if they have a strong desire to work in the industry" - Sara Beecher, Crew Consultant - 19 Yacht Crew

When asked whether this is an industry for people to consider who have not thought about it before, but perhaps now have time to train properly as crew, Beecher believes that current travel restrictions and uncertainty make it hard to determine when the industry will get back to normal. “But there is always room for professional candidates with transferable skills, and if a candidate is in a good location for hiring (not having to travel far to join a vessel) then it may be a path worth following if they have a strong desire to work in the industry,” she added. 

According to Beecher, there has been ‘quite a jump’ in the number of applications. “At the beginning of quarantine when travel restrictions were put in place, we even saw candidates applying for positions that they were very over-qualified for.

“I am also definitely hearing of crew deciding to stay put at present, even putting holiday plans on hold. We may see more movement once travel restrictions ease,” Beecher continued, but she is not sure that the current situation will have a huge effect on how crew member’s view their career path from a long-term perspective. 

“The travel restrictions are something that I see having the most effect on the industry. There are many crew unable to travel from countries such as South Africa and Australia, countries that generally have a strong crew presence. This is definitely opening up opportunities for those placed closer to the main yachting ports,” Beecher concluded.

Crew longevity and recruitment are two of the many ‘contemporary crew challenges’ I have investigated within my feature in our most recent edition of The Superyacht Captain’s Report. To access the full library, please click here.

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