Why Deck cadets and Trainee Marine Engineers Are Not Getting Jobs
When most of us think about Merchant Navy all we think about is the money, glamour, and lavish lifestyle. These are the things that attracted most of us to this profession. We looked up to the seafarers who had been in this industry for the past 5-10 years and we got inspired by seeing their lifestyle. However, things were really different when most of these veteran seafarers joined the shipping industry. At that time Merchant Navy was a really isolated and unknown profession. The job opportunities were really high while the number of trained professionals in the industry was really less. Therefore, there was no dearth of jobs for anyone willing to join this profession.
Changes in the Shipping Industry
Over the last decade, things have changed drastically in the shipping industry. Especially in our country, as now the situation is completely opposite to what it used to be 10-15 years ago. Currently, the jobs in this industry are really scarce while the number of students joining this industry every year is really high.
Every year hundreds of maritime colleges across the country churn out thousands of trained deck cadets and trainee marine engineers. However, most top-notch shipping companies do not have such high requirements of fresh deck cadets and trainee marine engineers. Hence, only the few who completed their pre-sea training from some of the best maritime colleges in the country are able to land jobs after course completion.
The majority of these Deck cadets and Trainee marine engineers roam around looking for jobs and opportunities after course completion. This has become a thriving ground for all the fraudulent agents and colleges. They scam these students desperately looking for jobs by selling them fake promises and dreams that are never fulfilled. In this blog, we list some of the reasons which have led to the current situation of the high unemployment rate in the Indian maritime sector.
Flooding of Deck Cadets and Trainee Marine Engineers
This is currently one of the biggest reasons for the high unemployment ratio of fresh Deck cadets, Trainee marine engineers, and junior officers. There is a huge supply and demand imbalance for merchant navy professionals at the junior level in our country. There is still a huge demand for high-ranking officers in merchant navy. They face no problems in finding jobs and opportunities in different companies. However, seafarers who have just graduated from their maritime college or those who have just cleared the competency exams struggle to find jobs due to the flooding of candidates at this level.
This problem will continue to persist unless the Government authorities put a limit on the number of candidates pursuing a particular course each year according to the available job opportunities.
Lack of Jobs for Freshers
Most shipping companies these days only hire seasoned and experienced seafarers. They are completely reluctant towards hiring fresh cadets or junior officers. It is really ironic how these shipping companies expect seafarers to be experienced and competent in their jobs. While neglecting them the opportunity to gain any kind of experience. In the current scenario, the harsh reality is that very few companies are willing to accept freshers into their companies.
The lack of jobs and the growing number of desperate graduate students in search of jobs have given rise to a lot of frauds and scams in the shipping industry. These agents offer fake promises and job security to candidates who are desperate to get placed onboard. Most of the time these candidates who belong to rural parts of the country are tricked into paying 2000$-3000$ to these fraudsters who disappear after receiving the money.
In some cases, they even do provide employment on ships. However, they place you in such vessels where the living conditions are worse than hell. Where there is no safety culture onboard, no proper equipment, lack of food provision, etc. On top of it, these candidates don’t even get paid properly after surviving for months in such sickening conditions. These fraudsters are currently the biggest plague in the shipping industry. They ruin the careers and lives of hundreds and thousands of seafarers each year.
Lack of intervention by Government Authorities
The Government authorities so far have not taken any concrete steps to help these freshly graduated students who are struggling to find jobs. This is high time for the government authorities to adopt some strict measures regarding the functioning of maritime institutes which fail to provide employment to their students upon completion of the course.
The government should help these candidates to land a job in a decent shipping company. Otherwise, the number of unemployed trained professionals in the Indian maritime sector will only increase in the coming years.
Limited Shore Job Opportunities for Deck Cadets and Trainee Marine Engineers
Unlike other professions where people can migrate from one field or work to other, seafarers do not have that option. Merchant navy requires a very specific and specialized skill set which is often of no use in land-based jobs. Hence, seafarers or freshly graduated candidates find it very difficult to find decent jobs on land.
This is more challenging for deck cadets and officers. As the skill set that they have acquired or the things that they have been trained in are of no use on shore. Marine engineers still have an upper hand in finding decent jobs. As they have that mechanical engineering degree and experience that can be useful on shore too.
Merchant navy is slowly losing the luster that it once used to have of being a lucrative and glamorous profession. Yet the candidates applying to join the shipping industry are at an all-time high. If the government fails to take any concrete steps regarding the high unemployment rate in the maritime sector. Then this industry will further lose prominence of being a promising field of work for talented and hardworking individuals.
In this blog, we have listed some of the biggest reasons for the unemployment of deck cadets and trainee marine engineers. If you are one of those cadets or engineers currently reading this blog, then do not get disheartened or demotivated. Keep working hard and look for opportunities. Maybe one day you can land a job at a decent shipping company yourself.