Search

COMMENTARY
HR & EDUCATION, SHIPPING & MARINE | Contributed Content, Singapore
Published: 10 Feb 14
2970 views


Paul Ratcliffe

What 2014 holds for shipping jobs in Singapore

BY PAUL RATCLIFFE

2014 will see owners take delivery of thousands of newbuild vessels and more ships on the water means more people needed in shore-based roles.

Right now the global newbuild order book is standing at over 4,000 cargo ships and close to 1,000 OSVs. Every week brings fresh stories of owners inking new orders - the world fleet will continue to expand into 2015, 2016 and beyond.

This translates, basically, into more jobs: a good commercial Operator can handle around 10 ships, so every time the global fleet increases by 10 that is 1 new Operator job created.

On the technical management side a Technical Superintendent can typically manage around 5 ships and a Marine Superintendent anything up to 15. More ships mean more people.

Along with these Operators and Superintendents, more Crewing and Chartering professionals will be hired, not to mention the associated support staff and management required.

So, 100 new ships on the water can directly create 50 or more new shipping jobs on-shore. And these will be followed by the indirect jobs this creates at the various suppliers, agents, brokers, lawyers, and insurers.

So where does Singapore stand in this? There is no doubt that in bulk shipping Singapore is commercially the best in Asia and will continue to attract more international shipping players. The Global Trader Programme, offering reduced tax for commodity traders, means there are now 300 commodity traders with $100m+ revenues in the Lion City.

With all these cargo interests in Singapore, brokers and operators have to have a presence here, and for ship-owners commercial representation a necessity. Nowhere else can offer so much shipping business opportunity in one place, and in Singapore most of your clients are only a 10 minute taxi ride away.

Unquestionably, government policies affect the employment market in Singapore shipping. The tax benefits offered to shipping companies helped to establish Singapore’s current strong position by attracting international shipping companies en masse in 2006-2008.

As markets continue to improve in 2014, and ship owning becomes profitable again, these tax incentives will once again become more attractive; saving money on tax bills is really only of interest to companies that are making profits!

Again influenced by government policy, the people market in Singapore is slowly changing. The real change is coming from an improvement in the local talent pool driven by education – since 2009 NTU Maritime Studies BSc programme has graduated around 60-70 bright young candidates every year and many of the established shipping companies hire trainees from this talent pool.

SMU now offers a Maritime Economics Concentration and will be graduating students from 2015. In addition, the Polytechnics are offering world-leading Diploma courses and provide an excellent training environment and career path for Singaporeans to develop careers on-shore and at sea.

Changes to regulations in employing foreigners have had some effect, and firms now look to hire locally first for positions where the skills are available.

Senior positions though are largely unaffected by these changes as C-level and Director level roles are not given to people as career development opportunities – companies need the best possible people in these roles regardless of nationality, and not enough Singaporeans have the sea-going experience required to fill the technical roles available.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Singapore is the city with the highest concentration of diverse shipping talent in the world. The shipping industry in Singapore is a cultural rojak with 5,000+ shipping and maritime companies representing practically every country on earth.

With the city being the leading maritime centre in Asia - and now vying with London to be the Maritime Capital of the World, there is an undoubted need for diverse and highly skilled international talent.

International shipping companies will always want to maintain links to their home country, and when your clients come from all over the world it makes commercial sense to have a diverse workforce.

When managed well everyone benefits from this cross-pollination – foreign talent in Singapore gains exposure to a dynamic Asian market and gets the global experience to fast-track a career (not to mention access to a wealth of new career opportunities at competitor firms).

Singaporeans benefit from world-class shipping companies investing in developing local talent who ultimately benefit from exposure to international best-practice.

More ships on the water means more people employed on shore. Companies will continue to hire people in Singapore because if you want low / no tax, access to the top talent globally, to be in close proximity to your clients and counterparties, then Singapore is the place to be.

Whether or not the shipping markets continue to pick up in 2014 and beyond, the industry in Singapore will remain strong and good shipping talent will be in demand.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

Paul Ratcliffe

Paul Ratcliffe

Paul Ratcliffe is Director of Ignition Global Consulting, an executive search, recruitment, and HR consulting firm specialising in the shipping, offshore oil & gas, and physical commodity markets. Based in Singapore since 2008, he joined Ignition with 9 years recruitment experience having previously worked for a boutique executive search firm, a global recruitment MNC, and one of the world's largest banks.

Contact Information



Sign up for our newsletter

 

Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.

Click here to learn about advertising, content sponsorship, events & rountables, custom media solutions, whitepaper writing, sales leads or eDM opportunities with us.

To get a media kit and information on advertising or sponsoring click here.

LATEST HR & EDUCATION JOBS »
  • No jobs posted on this category.
PRINT ISSUE »

Subscribe Now
Survival of the fittest in Singapore’s franchising scene

24 views

Singapore’s IPO market falters as Hong Kong’s soars

11 views

Singapore’s “mid-life crisis”

56 views

MOST READ EXCLUSIVES

Bosch’s cutting-edge regional HQ is one of the greenest buildings you’ll find in Singapore

Bosch’s cutting-edge regional HQ is one of the greenest buildings you’ll find in Singapore

It boasts an automated sun-shading system.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
7 Jul 2015 | 14973 views
 

Husband and wife duo ditch plum banking jobs to shake up Singapore’s HR scene

Husband and wife duo ditch plum banking jobs to shake up Singapore’s HR scene

This small start-up has global dreams.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
8 Jul 2015 | 9692 views

Cocoa Colony to open 12 more outlets in Singapore by end-2015

Cocoa Colony to open 12 more outlets in Singapore by end-2015

The cafe chain seeks to target the masses.

by KRISANA GALLEZO-ESTAURA
21 Jul 2015 | 8928 views
 

10 smart ways to spend your GST Vouchers

10 smart ways to spend your GST Vouchers

Regardless of how much you spend, aim to spend it well.

by KRISANA GALLEZO-ESTAURA
8 Jul 2015 | 8598 views

TAIGER’s office bids goodbye to claustrophobia-inducing cubicles

TAIGER’s office bids goodbye to claustrophobia-inducing cubicles

Walls and windows function as a big canvas.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
15 Jul 2015 | 4738 views
 

Get bitten by the travel bug in Skyscanner’s quirky Asia-Pacific headquarters

Get bitten by the travel bug in Skyscanner’s quirky Asia-Pacific headquarters

Meeting rooms are named after Asian tourist spots.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
5 Jun 2015 | 3766 views

Hootsuite boosts its APAC team opening a new office in Singapore

Hootsuite boosts its APAC team opening a new office in Singapore

Its VP talks about the importance of the company’s culture in line with opening the new space.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
18 Jun 2015 | 3340 views
 

Bye bye blurry video calls: Here’s a WebRTC startup that offers close to HD video quality using any device

Bye bye blurry video calls: Here’s a WebRTC startup that offers close to HD video quality using any device

Find out how they are building the next generation of web communications.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
2 Jun 2015 | 2709 views

Singapore’s first dedicated F&B development to open in East Coast Road

Singapore’s first dedicated F&B development to open in East Coast Road

Katong Square plans to open at the end of the year.

by STAFF REPORTER
31 Jul 2015 | 2623 views
 

Experience a different form of Thai casual dining at Gin Khao

Experience a different form of Thai casual dining at Gin Khao

The man behind the Jus Delish Group opens its flagship outlet at East Coast Parkway.

by STAFF REPORTER
19 Aug 2015 | 2561 views

CtrlShift’s new office exudes a ‘wow-effect’ without being too grand

CtrlShift’s new office exudes a ‘wow-effect’ without being too grand

Paying attention to small details paid off.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
29 Jul 2015 | 2269 views
 

Former college dropout built his own company and made $2million in just 2 years

Former college dropout built his own company and made $2million in just 2 years

He developed a hiring software for jobless women and youth.

by KRISANA GALLEZO-ESTAURA
20 Aug 2015 | 1864 views

Grant Thornton aims to grow staff to 200-300 people in Singapore

Grant Thornton aims to grow staff to 200-300 people in Singapore

Here’s what it will do differently compared to the Big Four.

by KRISANA GALLEZO-ESTAURA
29 Jul 2015 | 1619 views
 

This handy app lets you book nearly any service under the sun

This handy app lets you book nearly any service under the sun

Find technicians, babysitters and more with Page Advisor.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
8 Jun 2015 | 1600 views

Could this site be your new financial buddy?

Could this site be your new financial buddy?

It allows users to look for financial services based on their pre-calculated profile.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
30 Jul 2015 | 1521 views
 

The wait is over: American Eagle Outfitters opens flagship store in VivoCity

The wait is over: American Eagle Outfitters opens flagship store in VivoCity

Shop until you drop with its wide selection of denim washed jeans.

by STAFF REPORTER
19 Aug 2015 | 1514 views

This app is out to prove that Singapore is anything but boring

This app is out to prove that Singapore is anything but boring

And Sugar helps SMEs in the process too.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
2 Jun 2015 | 1486 views
 

PwC Singapore launches its first Investment Fund Centre in Asia

PwC Singapore launches its first Investment Fund Centre in Asia

Expanding its presence in the asset management sector across Asian region.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
29 Jun 2015 | 1383 views

Hey, boss: This startup wants to be your all-around sidekick

Hey, boss: This startup wants to be your all-around sidekick

Alpha7 wants SMEs to join the Cloud.

by STAFF REPORTER
16 Jun 2015 | 1362 views
 

How do you like getting cash rebates when shopping online?

How do you like getting cash rebates when shopping online?

ShopBack introduces this concept in Southeast Asia.

by STAFF REPORTER
21 Jul 2015 | 1350 views

Get your head in the game: Testing challenges await the Internet of Things

Get your head in the game: Testing challenges await the Internet of Things

Industry experts share their concerns over security and testing standards.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
4 Jun 2015 | 1263 views
 

Out with the old, in with the new: Arcc Offices refurbished its first serviced office in Singapore

Out with the old, in with the new: Arcc Offices refurbished its first serviced office in Singapore

It is designed with break out spaces that are ideal for a collaborative working environment.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
17 Aug 2015 | 1256 views

Leave your valuables unattended: This on-demand cleaning service offers $1m liability insurance

Leave your valuables unattended: This on-demand cleaning service offers $1m liability insurance

Book a reliable cleaner in seconds with Helpling.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
22 Jun 2015 | 1074 views
 

WeInvest.net simplifies exploration of available investment opportunities

WeInvest.net simplifies exploration of available investment opportunities

It claims to be the world’s first platform allowing investors to take a peek into the restricted funds.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
7 Aug 2015 | 1073 views

Almac Group boosts APAC foothold, unveils first clinical packaging facility

Almac Group boosts APAC foothold, unveils first clinical packaging facility

It’s the first to complete the Health Sciences Authority inspection.

by LEE ANNE BABIERRA
5 Aug 2015 | 1042 views
 

Why you should never miss premium freebies from Grabz

Why you should never miss premium freebies from Grabz

This app also helps SMEs get noticed in the market.

by KRISANA GALLEZO-ESTAURA
21 Aug 2015 | 728 views

Asian corporates face tough balancing act as sustainability issues mount

Asian corporates face tough balancing act as sustainability issues mount

Discover the changing face of Asian CSR.

by MARIANNE ESTIOCO
1 Jul 2015 | 663 views
 
close Don't Show Again

STAY INFORMED! Get our free weekly newsletter