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The People Problem – 06 September 2007
P&I clubs are counting the cost of the worst group claims year on record in 2006, and naturally much of the talk on how to reduce the cost and number of incidents is focussing on the human factor, according to Jerry Westmore, managing director of Marsh’s Global Marine and Energy Practice.
“For the clubs the issue is the claims levels of 2006 and the fear that claims will increase,” he says.
“A major concern continues to be the potential crew shortages and it is an issue which is affecting everyone at present.”
Mr Westmore said the problem was not just the lack of training and qualified crew, but also the ability to retain crews.
“Retention remains as difficult as recruitment,” he adds. “We are seeing ever bigger and more sophisticated vessels which are in themselves more expensive and they are carrying more expensive cargos.
“There is a different dynamic with the newer more technical ships because, while they may need smaller crews than in the past, those crews have to be more technically competent in order to operate them. One problem is that increasingly entry level seafarers are no longer technically or educationally capable of rising through the ranks to become the officers of the future.”