During the last Ship Management Summit held in Singapore Avior Dirctor Joost Mes was interviewed on his views on the present status and future of the Philippines Crew Management industry. With a predicted annual growth of 7% the Philippines is presently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The interview conducted by Ship Management International's Felicity Landon looks into the drivers behind the Philippines as a major force in manning and the future ahead. For the full inteview CLICK HERE.
In the interview Joost indicates that the two main drivers behind the growth of the Philippines into one of the major global manning sources are the demographics of the country with a large young professional population and the fact that a career at sea is still a very attractive career compared to shore based opportunities. This combined with the good English proficiency of most Filipino's and the ability to adjust to other cultures and working environments makes that the Philippines still is a preferred source for many Owners and Ship Managers. Competition from the shore based Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry growing with 90,000 jobs annualy has so far not substantially affected this as a career at sea still remains the better prospect in the long run.
The present shipping crisis is hurting especially in the offshore but Joost indicates that one way or another the Philippines seems to weather the storm better than most countries. Probably because in time of recession Owners turn to the Philippines for Crew in an attempt to control costs.
While China has overtaken the Philippines in terms of Seafarers the Philippines still remains numer one of one only takesinto account the Seafarers on the international fleet. However Joost emphasizes that it is not about being the biggest but about being the best and in this aspect the Philippines still has a few challenges to address.
The Philippines is still not pulling its weight as far as the development of senior officers are concerned and making the leap to the higher end segments of the industry such as Ship Management and surveying. Things are definitely moving in that direction but slow.
Avior Marine Director Joost Mes represented the Dutch Ship Owners Association (KNVR) in an award giving ceremony to highlight the achievements of Maritime Social partners in the industry.
The ceremony was organized by the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) and the POEA and one of the last acts of DOLE Secretary Rosalinda-Baldoz who after a fourty year career in Government will leave the administration. It was also used by industry partners to bid farewell to Secretary Baldoz who has been so instrumental in the transformation of the POEA and the overseas workers section.
Together with the KVNR also Shipowners Associations from Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany and Seafarers Unions received similar plagues of appreciation. Many of which who also played an active role in providing emergency aid and recovery support in the aftermath of typhoon Haynan in Nov-2013.
AVIOR concluded an agreement with training provider GIGAMARE on Cadet Training.
Under this agreement twenty cadets for Avior Principal Seatrade will undergo review and enhancement training for sixteen weeks prior boarding Seatrade vessels. The twenty cadets form part of a larger group of fifty cadets recruited yearly under the Avior Cadet to Officer Development Program (CODP).
Apart from review of navigation and technical subjects the Cadets will take part in team building and personal development training as part of a pilot project.
"As this group of cadets will not board until the end of 2016 we wanted to use this time to further enhance the cadets prior boarding and therefore we have requested
Avior to look for ways on how to do this" Seatrade stated. "The agreement with Gigamare will be used as a pilot and cadets from this project will be benchmarked against others".
This year Avior selected cadets from John B Lacson Foundation in Iloilo and Bacolod, Davao Merchant Marine Academy, Malayan Colleges Laguna and the Palompon Institute of Technology. Training at Gigamare will commence May 18.
In the picture from left to right: Ms Marietta Lopes - Cadet coordinator, Mr Hernane Balinas - Gigamare representative, Ms Edna Ranara Avior President and Jes Agbayani Avior GM Operations, in the back Joost Mes Avior Director.
Avior Director Joost Mes was invited as resource speaker last March 9-10 during the Marine HR and Crew Management Conference in Singapore. He also acted as one of the panel members on the debate on the role of Women in Shipping.
The annual ACI Marine HR and Crew Management Conference is visited by Owners, Crew Managers and Training and Educational facilites to exchange their views on present developments in the Marine HR field. The Topic Joost covered was "The Big picture of Retention" and covered a comprehensive overview of ways on how to attain higher crew retention and the derivers between crew loyalty.
Joost exchanged expereinces within Avior and shared the results of a survey conducted by Avior in co-coperation with five other Manning agents on what retention mesaures and benefits Seafarers value. This survey, conducted in the Philippines, provides an insight in how to direct their retention effort.
One of the main findings from the survey is that it seems to confirm that the initial concern of Filipino Seafarers still seems to be security of job, health and family and that their decision to stay with a Agent/Principal is less money driven as sometimes is claimed. The study identifies what conditions have to be satisfied first (the "Basics") to satsify the sense of security before more monetary motives come into force.
Another finding of the survey was the role of WIFI on board. It was estimated about one third of the Seafarers now have access to WIFI on board and for those who do not have access have put it high on the list of preferred benefits. The survey shows there is no generation gap in this desire. It is almost equally appreciated accross the age brackets. Respondents indicated the quality of WIFI remains something to be desired but despite the 'snail pace' it is appreciated. A marketeers dream and an opportunity for Owners/Principals who seek to differentiate themselves. Joost Mes mentioned it is probably the best value for money in terms of crew appreciation/retention per dollar. WIFI is where I would put my money if I had the choice.
For a full download of the report : CLICK HERE.
For the Presentation (pdf format) ; "Retention - The Big Picture" : CLICK HERE
Joost also particpated as panel member lin the debate on the role of Women in Shipping. How to create a more level playing field. Joost mentioned that Avior is fortunate to have some Principals who are open to employing female cadets, which is a start and some have reached Management level ranks and are performing well. Others have joined the industry ashore when starting a family. From the discussions it was clear there still are prejudices to be overcome and additional attention is needed in the start up phase so expectation levels are clear to all involved. Joost admitted that also within Avior initially took too many things were taken for granted and Avior policy had to be adjusted to create a real level playing field and a condusive professional environment for those cadets to prosper. The key is a clear message at the start and Management commitment.
It is estimated that in the Philippines female Seafarers only account for less than one percent of total Seafarers.
Avior signed on Anthony Veder as first new Principal of 2016. Anthony Veder is one of the largest operator/owner of a fleet of modern gas carriers which will strngthen Avior's position in the LPG segment. Most vessels are semi refirgerated/fully pressurized (SR/FP) or Ethylene carriers.
As preperation for preparing the crew for the first two ships Anthony Veder's Senior Crewing Officers spend ten days in Avior before traveling with the first crew to Singapore.
In Manila Alexander was joined by Anthony Veder's Crewing Manager Remko Kloos for the signing of the manning contract and accreditation at POEA.
The first two crews joined their assigned ships in Singapore in January. A third ship is expected to follow in February.
Avior's President Edna Ranara emphasized how delighted she was to welcome a quality Princpal like Anthony Veder to the Avior family. "They fit our philosophy on crew management and development very well and we are confident we can help Anthony Veder in developing an LPG experienced manning pool and a sound base in the Philippines".