Flexibility, Security and the Need for Training

Polina Baum-Talmor, Victor Gekara

    Research output: Other contribution


    As a result of extensive restructuring in the global labour market for seafarers, driven by ship owners’ drive to achieve reduced operations cost and increased profitability, seafarers are increasingly being employed under precarious and unstable circumstances. In place of long-term, secure employment, most seafarers are now employed on a short-term and temporary basis. In defence of growing temporary voyage-based engagement for seafarers, some people maintain that such arrangements, as applied in other sectors such as banking and IT, provide the kind of employment flexibility befitting the notional 21st Century flexible worker, in full control of their career destinies. We ask here, however, whether the emerging global shipping landscape, the resulting power relations between owners and seafarers and the changing level of employer commitment to training and staff development enables the suggested benefits of employment flexibility. In establishing our critique of the emerging employment arrangement for seafarers, we suggest that the benefits of flexibility argument is simply a convenient construction by ship owners and their satellite recruitment agencies to justify sweeping changes in the industry which adversely affect the social-economic wellbeing of seafarers associated with traditional long-term secure employment arrangements.
    Original languageEnglish
    TypePaper in professional journal
    Media of outputWritten paper
    PublisherSeaways - The Nautical Institute Magazine
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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