Young people in Greece are still “shipping-averse”, in that they continue to have a negative view, when it comes to seeking job opportunities in the country’s shipping companies, despite the fact that 58% of young Greeks have a positive view of the shipping industry and believe that it supports the Greek economy. In a recent study in young people between the ages 16 and 30, Ernst & Young Hellas determined that 44% state, it is highly unlikely that they would seek employment in the shipping industry at sea, while maritime academies are understaffed, underfunded and unable to follow recent developments. As such, Ernst & Young say that there is a clear need for more effective communication of developments in the shipping sector, as shipowners in Greece, are traditionally “allergic” to publicity and prefer to keep a low profile of their business activities.

Following are some of the researchers’ key findings:

Despite the high levels of unemployment in Greece, the majority of young people do not take a positive view of the prospect of employment in the shipping sector. This is the key finding of a survey by EY1, combining the results of telephone interviews of 1.000 young people aged 16-30 and of a series of in-depth interviews with executives from shipping companies and representatives of the academic community.

A mere 6% of the sample spontaneously stated that they would like to work in shipping, while, when asked to choose between different sectors of the economy, only 23% said they are likely to seek employment in the shipping sector at sea. The picture is slightly more positive with regard to employment in the shipping sector ashore, where 41% said this is a possible option. However, employment in tourism (49%), appears as a more attractive option, which may indicate that the comparative advantages of employment in the shipping sector (high earnings, career prospects, lack of seasonality, etc.), are not fully understood.

The prospect of employment at sea is less popular among women (15%), while for employment ashore the response among men and women is at comparable levels. Responses are not significantly differentiated among university graduates. Respondents from the Greek islands, which traditionally were a reservoir of manpower for the shipping sector, take a more positive view, although in these areas the attractiveness of the tourist industry is extremely high.


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