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Optimistic Outlook for Recruitment in the Marine Industry

Most of us have found ourselves faced with the doom and gloom in the media about the state of the UK jobs market recently, but what does that mean for our industry? What does it mean for you?

Having recently read an article written by James Ward in the September issue of Boating Business relating to his findings on recruitment within the Marine industry, I felt inspired to look further into what these findings mean for those I work with in the industry, clients and candidates alike.

Before looking at the Marine industry, what about the UK jobs market as a whole

The unemployment rate stands at 8.1%, which is 2.57 million people currently looking for work in the United Kingdom. One could be forgiven for assuming that with an abundance of workers to choose from, employers are quickly able to find the right person to do the job.

Increasingly, employers are looking for applicants who can hit the ground running in a given job. Companies frequently require individuals who are already working within that specific role and therefore have an up to date knowledge of the employers’ products, working with the same client base.  This inevitably means that these individuals will be gainfully employed and we can therefore conclude that good candidates are just as hard to find as they always have been, if not more so.

Encouragingly, the Marine industry reports a consistent level of performance in its recovery from recession, according to the British Marine Federation’s latest trends survey. It is promising to see that the workforce numbers in the industry are in an upward trend for the first time in recent years, but the report also shows that 13% of respondents state that their company is currently having difficulties filling vacancies, an increase of 2% from the previous survey. This highlights that potentially better employment prospects exist if we solve common problems in the recruitment process.

What better time to do so, with the recent launch of the Marine Industries Growth Strategy (MIGS) which could see a £25bn Marine Industry by 2020? Mark Prisk, Business Minister and co-chair of the Marine Industries Leadership Council said, “Britain’s marine industries are one of our best prospects for high value, high skilled economic growth. That’s why we are launching the Marine Industries Growth Strategy to harness that potential and grow the industry by £8bn by 2020” [1]

In my next blog, we‘ll explore which roles present the major challenges to our industry along with what changes are afoot and thoughts on what can be done to safeguard the skills of the industry for the future.

In the meantime, I would welcome the opportunity to invite participation from readers of this blog by sending me your own comments on your viewpoint of recruitment and employment in our industry. You can do this by tweeting @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] Prisk, M. (2011) in article ‘Marine Growth Strategy Launched’. Maritime Journal, No 283 p5.

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