Labor and Employment Secretary Roslainda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that there is a need to upgrade the training levels of Filipino seafarers to meet the increasing demand for seafarers, including specialized officers, in the global market for the next 10 years.
Baldoz, citing the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Manpower Report 2015, said that the global demand for seafarers, including officers, is forecasted to increase until 2025.
She added that the report identifies a current shortfall of about 16,500 officers (2.1 per cent) and a need for an additional 147,500 officers by 2025 to service the world merchant fleet.
“According to the latest BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report, unless training levels are increased significantly, the growth in demand for seafarers could generate a serious shortage in the supply of officers,” said Baldoz.
She added that the global supply of seafarers in 2015 is estimated at 1,647,500 seafarers of which 774,000 are officers. The supply of officers is forecast to increase steadily, but this is predicted to be outpaced by increasing demand. Some officer categories are in especially short supply, including engineer officers at management level and officers needed for specialised ships such as chemical, liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas carriers.
To address this concern, the Labor and Employment Chied said that there is a need for maritime education and training institutions to promote careers at sea, enhance maritime education and training for Filipino seafarers.
“I encourage our maritime education and training institutions to review their curriculum and improve their training standards to meet the requirements for specialized ships, including LNG and LPG carriers and chemical tankers, and cruise liners.
Baldoz also said that the report highlighted the retention of seafarers is positively seen by employers in the global maritime industry.
“The preference of the Filipino seafarers to stay in the profession longer than the average five to 10 years is seen as an advantage for the Filipino seafarers. It provides comfort for the ship owners who need to ensure the continued trading of their ships to recover the cost of their investments,” said Baldoz.
The BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report provides comprehensive update on the global manpower situation in the shipping industry. The report is issued once in every five-years. The latest report was released on 17 May 2016 during the Maritime Safety Committee held in London.
The report is based on data gathered from surveys of countries supplying seafarers, major companies employing seafarers, industry experts, sample seafarers, maritime education and training institutions (METIs), manning agents, and maritime unions.
The BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report stated that although there is an oversupply of 119,000 for ratings, the global market currently has a deficit of 16,500 for officers which might increase to 92,000 by 2020 and 147,500 by 2025.
Baldoz added the supply-demand forecast indicates the steady supply of officers will be unable to outpace the increase in the global demand for officers.
She also said that there is a more significant shortage of engineer officers at the management level and officers for specialized ships such as LPG, LNG carriers, and chemical tankers.
Published every five years since 1990, the BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report contains detailed data analysis to show how the maritime workforce has evolved since 2010. It also suggests how supply and demand of seafarers may change using various scenarios.