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Tuesday, November 19, 2019 

A crew survey by Hamburg-based specialist crewing agency Danica shows that shipping companies should be aware that it is not only salary levels that determine which employer a seafarer selects fringe benefits are playing an important role in attracting and keeping senior staff.

According to The Seafarers’ Employment Condition Survey 2019, access to the internet (both free or paid) tops the list of must-haves for today’s seafarers, while other attractive benefits are medical insurance, pensions and paid certification. Danica provides largely Eastern European officers to the global shipping industry.

Almost 10,000 seafarers took part in the survey, conducted between May and September. The majority of respondents were senior officers and more than 50% had 24 months or more experience in their current rank.

The survey demonstrated that crew vote with their feet – if they find a better offer they are more than willing to move companies. However, despite this workplace fluidity, the survey showed that the majority of seafarers were happy to recommend their most recent company as an employer.

Danica MD Henrik Jensen (pictured), said: “It is our experience that access to the internet is a very important parameter when seafarers are selecting an employer. Our survey shows that 80% of the seafarers who do not have internet access today would move jobs in order to get it. This is a huge warning to those shipping companies who do not offer crew internet access onboard their vessels. In Danica we wanted to better understand the actual conditions Russian and Ukrainian seafarers are employed under, as well as how they act in the employment market. We were keen to hear from all seafarers, not just those placed in their positions by Danica – so our results are representative of the whole of the Eastern European crew market.”

The survey also took into account numerous other matters including medical insurance, pensions, payment of national licence renewal, late payments and other violations of employment ocnditions, onboard safety conditions, training provisions, quality of food onboard, age of vessels and length of contract periods.

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