Singapore shipping and offshore maritime employment market ‘cautiously optimistic’
Despite the well publicised, and frequently discussed, downturn facing the shipping and marine industry, two recent surveys have produced results which point to Singapore solidifying its position and an international maritime hub of choice.
Mark Robertshaw, Managing Director of Faststream Singapore, noted that in the recruitment side of the industry there had been a 22% increase in business compared to this time last year.
“It appears that an increasing number of offshore and shipping companies are restructuring their activities to have a more prominent presence in Singapore. Singapore, with its geographic location, state of the art maritime infrastructure, and commercially attractive Maritime Incentives scheme seems to be attracting owners and contractors who are facing increased economic pressures in other parts of the world.”
However, and perhaps unsurprising given the state of the international economy, maritime and shipping professionals were being more cautious before considering new opportunities, vetting the positions and the companies very carefully in these uncertain times. This has lengthened the time required for on-boarding suitable candidates, from the initial search all through to the candidate’s start-date.
Two recently completed Faststream Singapore surveys showed positive results both in term of companies’ hiring intent and in the annual remuneration levels companies were planning for.
Percentage Increase/Decrease in Headcount for 2013/2014:
2013/2014 Headcount————— % of respondents
Decrease 15-20%————————– 4%
Decrease 10-15%————————– 4%
Decrease 5-10% ————————— 7%
Decrease 1- 5% —————————- 5%
Increase 1- 5%—————————– 19%
Increase 5-10%—————————– 23%
Increase 10-15%————————— 15%
Increase 15-20%————————— 16%
Increase 30% +————————— 7%
Salary-wise, although roughly 30% of companies were keeping pay rates static, over 50% were planning for a 2-4% increase, conscious to ensure that salaries were in line with inflationary predictions, and the remaining 20% were looking at pay increases of around or above 5%.
Mr Robertshaw noted that this was likely a reflection of the increasing need to both attract and retain top local and international talent into Singapore-based roles. “Offshore support and construction, and increasingly LNG are becoming prominent in the local market. These are high-value projects and companies need to attract the right people.”
“Whilst Singapore is an expensive place to live, it is important to put this into perspective in relation to company and regulatory costs in overseas economies which are considerably higher.”
“The Singapore government has also introduced a number of positive cooling measures into the market which should begin to filter into the economy and have a positive effective in terms associated costs of living and international schooling.”
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