OMSA survey captures industry crewing needsNews // October 18, 2007
According to a new member survey on workforce needs conducted by the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) in the US, four out of every 10 licensed officers in the offshore industry are 51 years of age or older and will be nearing retirement in the next 10 years, if not sooner.
In addition to the concern that almost half the industry’s most skilled mariners are close to the age where they will think about retiring, this is also the group of mariners who may be the most affected by the US Coast Guard’s proposed medical fitness policies.
The purpose of the survey was to find out from industry what their current and future workforce needs are and the age demographics of offshore mariners.
The responses received from OMSA’s members were, said OMSA, "an eye opener" and clearly showed that a main concern for the industry in the next few years will be focusing on recruitment of new mariners and the further training and retention of current mariners.
In addition to some 42 per cent of licensed officers being over the age of 50, nearly 25 per cent of both documented and undocumented mariners are 51 or older.
OMSA said another important factor is the boom in the construction of new vessels. Over the next five years, OMASA members predict that they will need 3,500 new mariners just to crew these newly built vessels.
A main concern for the industry in the next few years will be focusing on recruitment of new mariners and the further training and retention of our current mariners. These workforce needs and concerns were expected to be a major topic discussed OMSA's General Membership meeting on October 16th.
"One of OMSA’s priorities is to assist the membership in its efforts to bring new mariners into the industry and to push for a clear career path in training and licensing that allows those mariners to advance in their careers," said OMSA in a statement.