Search

COMMENTARY
HR & EDUCATION, SHIPPING & MARINE | Contributed Content, Singapore
Published: 10 Feb 14
2155 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 is a headhunter in the shipping and offshore sector and has been working in this market since 2009.

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.

CO-WRITTEN ARTICLES & SPONSOR CONTENT ››

Professor Stephen Brammer from the Birmingham Business School says up to 50% of market value is at stake.
165 views

LATEST HR & EDUCATION JOBS »
PRINT ISSUE »

Subscribe Now
Trains, planes, automobiles and drones

20 views

As goes Hong Kong, so goes Singapore?

311 views

Office property shows no signs of a slowdown

81 views

MOST READ EXCLUSIVES

Singapore's 10 most successful 40 and under hotel managers

Singapore\'s 10 most successful 40 and under hotel managers

Find out who's who in the hotel industry.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
12 Mar 2014 | 52239 views
 

Singapore's top 8 reunion dinner hotel restaurants

Singapore\'s top 8 reunion dinner hotel restaurants

Gallop into the Year of the Horse with these top picks.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
13 Jan 2014 | 34869 views

Take an exclusive tour at TripAdvisor's 6,000 sq ft Singapore headquarters

Take an exclusive tour at TripAdvisor\'s 6,000 sq ft Singapore headquarters

It's like having a road trip while at work.

by CARMINA JARIEL
5 Feb 2014 | 19350 views
 

10 Asian airlines to hate for excessive late arrivals in December

10 Asian airlines to hate for excessive late arrivals in December

Chinese airlines dominated the list.

by STAFF REPORTER
14 Jan 2014 | 18799 views

Singapore's top six Valentine’s Day hotels

Singapore\'s top six Valentine’s Day hotels

Ready to pop the question?

by KRISANA GALLEZO
29 Jan 2014 | 17417 views
 

Singapore's 6 hot new restaurants in February

Singapore\'s 6 hot new restaurants in February

Warm your belly with these picks.

by STAFF REPORTER
27 Feb 2014 | 15848 views

Singapore's 6 hot new restaurants in April

Singapore\'s 6 hot new restaurants in April

Warm your belly with these top picks.

by STAFF REPORTER
1 Apr 2014 | 13853 views
 

Singapore's 6 hot new restaurants in March

Singapore\'s 6 hot new restaurants in March

Get a taste of NYC's eclectic undergound dining.

by STAFF REPORTER
18 Mar 2014 | 13444 views

StarHub's corporate office is so awesome it has its own theatre exclusive to staff

StarHub\'s corporate office is so awesome it has its own theatre exclusive to staff

Check out its other facilities with these pictures.

by STAFF REPORTER
3 Mar 2014 | 8538 views
 

See how FireEye's Singapore headquarters could make hackers scared out of their wits

See how FireEye\'s Singapore headquarters could make hackers scared out of their wits

It's Singapore's threat intelligence hub.

by CARMINA JARIEL
21 Jan 2014 | 7432 views

Why are office rents suddenly the hottest topic in the property market?

Why are office rents suddenly the hottest topic in the property market?

Everyone has been buzzing about it.

by STAFF REPORTER
26 Mar 2014 | 5270 views
 

What could make 2014 a disappointing year for Singapore REITs?

What could make 2014 a disappointing year for Singapore REITs?

SREITs are in for a triple whammy.

by KAREN MESINA
22 Jan 2014 | 4963 views

Parco Marina Bay at Millenia Walk shuts down on 24 February

Parco Marina Bay at Millenia Walk shuts down on 24 February

Let’s call it a day, says management.

by CARMINA JARIEL
12 Feb 2014 | 4267 views
 

Find out how this 2-storey gallery-hostel in Singapore is painting the town red

Find out how this 2-storey gallery-hostel in Singapore is painting the town red

It has 18 rooms with 100 beds.

by STAFF REPORTER
27 Feb 2014 | 3693 views

Guess where cash-rich shoppers splurged their money over CNY period

Guess where cash-rich shoppers splurged their money over CNY period

Shop 'til you get tracked.

by STAFF REPORTER
14 Feb 2014 | 3076 views
 

Is Singapore's property market still haunted by liquidity nightmares?

Is Singapore\'s property market still haunted by liquidity nightmares?

Analysts are still unimpressed.

by STAFF REPORTER
5 Feb 2014 | 3072 views

Singapore Wine Vault's $200m facility slated to launch in 3Q

Singapore Wine Vault\'s $200m facility slated to launch in 3Q

It can house over 10 million bottles.

by STAFF REPORTER
5 Mar 2014 | 2817 views
 

How disappointing were the January home sales, really?

How disappointing were the January home sales, really?

Analysts are still keeping their hopes up for next month.

by STAFF REPORTER
19 Feb 2014 | 2495 views

Find out how this startup plans to beat Singapore’s skyrocketing car prices

Find out how this startup plans to beat Singapore’s skyrocketing car prices

It’s speeding up its Asian expansion.

by STAFF REPORTER
5 Mar 2014 | 2179 views
 

SingTel, StarHub stuck in a tight tug-of-war over 2014 World Cup broadcast rights

SingTel, StarHub stuck in a tight tug-of-war over 2014 World Cup broadcast rights

Negotiations are challenging, said StarHub.

by STAFF REPORTER
17 Feb 2014 | 1968 views

Buckle up: Car sharing firms gain ground in Singapore

Buckle up: Car sharing firms gain ground in Singapore

Should car retailers be scared?

by CARMINA JARIEL
10 Feb 2014 | 1859 views
 

Singapore is world's most expensive city—but only for expats

Singapore is world\'s most expensive city—but only for expats

Is The Lion City still affordable to ordinary Singaporeans?

by STAFF REPORTER
6 Mar 2014 | 1738 views

Singapore hoteliers saw flat Chinese New Year

Singapore hoteliers saw flat Chinese New Year

Business was challenging, they said.

by STAFF REPORTER
5 Feb 2014 | 1671 views
 

All you need to know about securing the Cloud

All you need to know about securing the Cloud

The remedy of a private cloud attack is around $9 million, studies show.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
13 Jan 2014 | 1535 views

Singaporeans mine gold in ‘second hand economy’ amidst skyrocketing cost of living

Singaporeans mine gold in ‘second hand economy’ amidst skyrocketing cost of living

8 in 10 Singaporeans admit to purchasing pre-owned goods.

by CARMINA JARIEL
28 Mar 2014 | 1433 views
 

What does Singapore's 6.2% industrial production growth imply for the rest of 2014?

What does Singapore\'s 6.2% industrial production growth imply for the rest of 2014?

Analysts are delighted by it.

by STAFF REPORTER
29 Jan 2014 | 1373 views

How a horrible renovation experience inspired Kluje to build a home renovation empire

How a horrible renovation experience inspired Kluje to build a home renovation empire

Over 400 accounts created in its first 2 months.

by CARMINA JARIEL
5 Feb 2014 | 1324 views
 

Will Singapore banks break hearts with bad results on Valentine's Day?

Will Singapore banks break hearts with bad results on Valentine\'s Day?

Especially with the easing of debt servicing burden.

by STAFF REPORTER
12 Feb 2014 | 1296 views

See how Zalora's 24-hour online ad campaign boosts Singapore's music scene

See how Zalora\'s 24-hour online ad campaign boosts Singapore\'s music scene

It collaborated with local singer-songwriters.

by STAFF REPORTER
22 Jan 2014 | 1265 views
 

See how this startup lets you create free listings in less than 30 seconds

See how this startup lets you create free listings in less than 30 seconds

Forget about Craiglist or Gumtree.

by STAFF REPORTER
19 Feb 2014 | 1160 views
close Don't Show Again

STAY INFORMED! Get our free weekly newsletter