Getting tomorrow's talents on board
The shipping industry is navigating a period of profound change. Firstly, major emphasis is being placed on decarbonization in an effort to make shipping cleaner and greener. Alternative fuels are being developed, and carbon indexes are increasingly required to comply with regulations. Secondly, this energy transition goes hand in hand with digitalization efforts and technological innovations such as autonomous ships and sophisticated cyber security. Affecting both marine and offshore operations, these new developments inevitably require a whole host of new skills.
Casting a wide net for new talent
“The shipping industry requires new skills – ones that are in demand in all sectors – which is leading to a skills shortage,” says Clare Pike, Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore (M&O).
We continue to seek out digital talent and sustainability expertise to keep abreast with industry advancements. What’s more, many of the digital skills that will become essential in the future have not yet even been identified. It’s impossible to foresee the future, but we as industry leaders need to remain agile and ready to adapt.
The specialists required to fill this gap won’t necessarily come from a shipping or offshore background. Without a connection to the maritime world, candidates are unlikely to apply for marine and offshore positions. The challenge is therefore to attract these experts to a new field, often seen as closed off. The industry must move away from the image of an exclusive club to become more accessible. This will not only create diversity but promote skills collaboration between new and existing employees.
Building a culture of empowerment
To attract the people needed in the industry, Clare explains the importance of a purpose-led organization: “Employees should be able to see the big picture and fully understand the purpose of their work. For example, Bureau Veritas M&O keeps its digitalization operations in-house. Digitalization is a priority for us and our clients; keeping this in the company means the teams fully understand their goals and are proud of their role. Talent management lies in creating a culture and climate for success and empowering people in their careers.”
Maritime organizations need to provide a community where employees feel valued and respected, in a physical and psychological sense. This is true for all generations, not only those at the start of their career. An agile approach is key to providing different opportunities within the company and retaining talents.
Enabling internal mobility
It is safe to say the maritime industry has a bright future ahead. New opportunities are arising and attracting new talents and skillsets.
Creating opportunities for internal mobility is one way to make a maritime career all the more attractive. This can be seen at Bureau Veritas M&O, which is building new sustainability hubs. Rather than only recruiting externally, there is a great deal of interest from existing employees who wish to move into this area.
The company is moving in the right direction to secure the talents of tomorrow. “We have been able to take a long-term view,” Clare says. “We’re making consistent and continual progress in addressing the challenges of this next decade.”