Feb 16, 2024

The marine industry: how to tackle the shortage of operational manpower?

The marine industry: how to tackle the shortage of operational manpower?

For several years now, the marine industry has been facing a significant challenge: a shortage of operational manpower. Despite many job opportunities, this problem is particularly acute among pleasure boat builders. Key regions such as Brittany, pays de la Loire, Sud-PACA, Occitanie and Nouvelle-Aquitaine are particularly hard hit.


Yet the sector seems to be in great shape. It comprises some 5,000 companies and supports 42,000 jobs, with a marked upturn in activity since the summer of 2020. French shipyards offer almost 1,500 permanent positions each year, but these remain unfilled, causing disruption to production and hampering the sector's economic recovery.

The main challenge for the marine industry is to attract and retain talent. This situation raises several questions: how can we improve the visibility and attractiveness of jobs in the marine sector? What strategies should be adopted to solve the problems of housing and transport, which are obstacles for potential workers? And how can innovative companies - such as Dolphin Charger - play a role in revitalising this sector?

Improving the attractiveness of careers in the marine industries

Poor image, a plethora of products on offer

The nautical sector lacks visibility and recognition, particularly among young people and their parents. These professions, often associated with manual and industrial occupations, are not sufficiently valued by the national education system and are perceived negatively compared with other more popular sectors such as construction, the automotive industry, or the naval and aeronautical industries.

Faced with a recurring labour shortage, the marine sector offers 1,500 jobs yearly (72,000 recruits expected by 2030), mainly in construction, equipment, and maintenance. Profiles in demand include maintenance technicians, marine mechanics, fit-out carpenters, and composite operators. Suitable training courses are available, but the industry lacks visibility and awareness, particularly among young people.

Initiatives across the board

The entire sector is mobilising to meet tomorrow's demanding requirements. Communication initiatives, cooperation between the various players and the creation of training courses aim to meet the abovementioned challenges.

As a significant player, the French Nautical Industries Federation (FIN) focuses on communication. It has launched the "The Nautical Team is Recruiting" campaign to meet the growing need for manpower in the nautical sector. The Federation stresses the importance of clearly defining the industry's identity to improve its appeal and planning targeted campaigns for schoolchildren and adult job seekers.

For its part, CINav, the Campus National des Industries de la mer (formerly the Campus des Industries Navales), has had a role since its creation in 2018 of facilitating employment in the maritime sector, including naval, nautical, and marine energies. It promotes these professions among young people and jobseekers and works on adapting existing training to the marine industry. Collaboration with France Travail is essential to attracting more applicants to maritime training courses.

Focus on training.

Certificats de Qualification Professionnelle (CQP) have been developed to train individuals in the specific skills required in this industry. There are currently 10 different CQPs, training over 300 people a year.

The industry has also partnered with the French Ministry of Education to revamp existing training courses, such as the CAP and Bac Pro Nautical Maintenance. In addition, the network of Nautical Professions Campuses has been expanded from 3 to 13 members between 2020 and 2021. These efforts are complemented by campaigns to promote the professions at boat shows and by in-house training initiatives by companies.

Setting up housing and transport assistance schemes to encourage employment.

The geographical location of companies in the marine sector, often in coastal areas far from major urban centres, poses significant challenges in transport and accommodation for potential employees, particularly those not from these regions. This remoteness and difficult access not only make travelling to these workplaces a constraint but also leads to difficulties with accommodation, as the cost of living in coastal areas can be prohibitive.

These factors form a significant financial and logistical barrier, deterring many potential workers from joining the marine industry despite the high job demand.

The very structure of the industry makes recruitment more difficult. Composed essentially of VSEs and SMEs, for which human resources management is not a priority, the ability to anticipate employment and recruitment needs is weak.

Developing and implementing solutions such as housing subsidies, partnerships with local estate agents, and subsidised transport schemes is essential to address these issues. These initiatives aim to facilitate access to housing and the workplace, reducing employee financial and logistical barriers.

As a key player in the marine industry, Dolphin Charger perfectly illustrates the sector's capacity for innovation and dynamism. AC/DC battery chargers, DC/DC boosters, DC/AC converters, batteries, battery managers, HMIs... For nearly 30 years, Dolphin Charger has been designing, manufacturing, and distributing a complete range of energy conversion solutions for the marine industry. Discover our OEM / ODM solutions!

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Feb 16, 2024

The marine industry: how to tackle the shortage of operational manpower?

For several years now, the marine industry has been facing a major challenge: a shortage of operational manpower. Despite a large number of job opportunities, this problem is particularly acute among pleasure boat builders. The main challenge for the marine industry is to attract and retain talent. This situation raises a number of questions: how can we improve the visibility and attractiveness of nautical professions? What strategies should be adopted to solve the housing and transport problems that are obstacles for potential workers? And how can innovative companies - such as Dolphin Charger - play a role in revitalizing this sector?

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