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Is the Key to Attracting Top Talent Industry Collaboration?

Previously I looked at a snapshot of recruitment and employment within the Marine industry and considered why now is the time to improve the way we work.

According to the British Marine Federation’s latest trend survey the most difficult vacancies to fill are Marine Engineers. However, the businesses that were surveyed also reported that they find it increasingly challenging to recruit sales staff including Sales/Product Managers as well as people for International and Marketing roles, Designers, Electricians, Electronic Engineers, Carpenters, Painters and Lawyers.

My own observation is that the technology and manufacturing processes used by the key players within the Marine industry have evolved to emulate those that are more commonly seen with the Aerospace and Automotive Industries. This has led me to question why the recruitment net has not been widened within the Marine industry to include industries that use the same technology and processes.

In an article on the Tidal Today website, I was interested to read how the Marine industry Growth Strategy (MIGS) aims to help the tidal energy industry though encouraging a collaboration with  “naval, merchant shipbuilding, leisure boat production and offshore renewable energy” companies:

  • Collaboration – “parts of industries in the Marine sector have been working separately without benefiting from collaboration, knowledge sharing and interconnection “The aim of MIGS is to correct this so that industries can make the most of their synergies.
  • Shipbuilders as role models – There are many areas where device manufacturers can benefit from the more well-established areas of the Marine industry such as shipbuilding that “could help them reduce the cost of installation and construction for new devices.”
  • Cross sector know how – Tidal and other offshore renewable energy companies can learn a lot about the practical issues of areas such as subsea operations from other offshore sectors.
  • Government funding heading Marine’s way – In 2012, it is expected that Marine companies and research establishments will benefit from more government funding to pay for Marine industry research. This will include the creation of a world leading centre for innovation, business and education in maritime engineering, engineering sciences and other relevant maritime disciplines.[1]

Allied industries are a good thing for recruitment and employment, offering individuals’ opportunity to have a career in a specific area whilst being assured of maintaining prospects for the future. It is promising to see that efforts are being made through initiatives such as MIGS to position the Marine industry as one which will attract top talent

I believe there is still more to be done outside of the existing Marine talent pool to safeguard the future of the industry by attracting young people through vocational routes such as modern apprenticeships.

With the right talent on board the opportunity to become a world leader in Marine Renewables is up for grabs.

In the next instalment of this blog, we’ll examine salaries and demographics within the industry and ask whether there are any trends which tell us more about employment prospects within the marine industry.

Let me know your own thoughts and observations on this subject by tweeting me @automationjobs or emailing me

By Dave Hull

Affinity Search Limited is a specialist recruitment company focusing on the Process Control, Automation, Energy and Marine industries servicing sales, engineering, managerial and executive positions throughout the UK & Europe. For further information visit us at or email us at

[1]Jeffries, E., (20th October 2011), ‘Combining shipbuilding and tidal stream know-how could create new business opportunities across key markets’, www., [Accessed 2nd November 2011.]

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