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5 Reasons Why People not Joining Merchant Navy

Well how could be forget ‘Popeye the sailor man’, the sailor, that every child dreamt to become one. Over the years, sailing as a profession was highly isolated, yet rewarding too. But for almost last decade, the number of personnel joining this profession is decreasing. Yes, women are joining this community too, but the overall interest of people is diminishing and why? Let’s see below.

5 Reasons People not Joining Merchant Navy

The social sickness

Today if we compare the sickness of people of lacking social life with the past, then surely today people are more concerned about it. It is not like that earlier people were willing to go for the voyage leaving behind their families, but today the ambiance is that, the tolerance level of people
towards homesickness is getting narrow. Micro Families can be the reason.
Yes technology to some extent have acted like bridge in this gape of social life loss, but still it is not enough .Earlier, merchant navy was being a highly respected and rewarding career, but due to the
recession and economic crisis in the various countries has toppled the
situation to reverse.

Stress work and no near land

Working on a metal structure can be lot more frustrating than working in same machinery at land. Continues voyages make person tense and the calmness of mind is lost. And then lack of social life and limited roaming area, affects the person mentally and may be physically too. People cannot share their grief with someday there, as no one is closer. Entire crew changes within months, so the concept of being bonded to other is lost. Also there are so many nationalities working on the ship, so you need time to adjust to their thoughts. Fast developing stringent laws in the maritime sector, is leading experienced personals to leave the industry early.

Emerging new mode transportation

Aviation industry is a quit developed in these times and they are developing planes every year that can lift more weight. Since the time consumed in the transportation is quite less, business men prefer this mode of transportation for small consignments and may be for the larger cargo too, if cost transportation kept aside.  You would also like to read which has more potential-ship or aviation industry.

Same wages every where

The main factor that was attracting people in to the shipping sector was the availability of good salary packages. Although the salary package is still good in it, but in other industries (Mostly land based) are also offering people more or less same salary. The difference between the salary of a seaman and the normal man on the land is decreasing fast. All you need to do is have a good education, that’s it and you will be paid high in land based jobs also.

Scarcity of jobs in shipping sector

Well it is a famous saying that ‘to make house strong, you need to make base strong’. In the very beginning of their career, cadet (Freshers) are facing the dark clouds of unemployment all over them, and this is forcing them to either change the line of course or pay money to agent to get a ship. On the other hand, experienced chief engineers and masters are leaving the sea jobs as they are getting lucrative deals in terms of jobs on the land also. You would also like to read why there is a scarcity of jobs in shipping industry.

Final words………

I would love to sail and would never hesitate to join a ship, obviously in future. But the current market conditions are molding an ambiance that is not suitable for young seafarers. Also the wages increment is not as per the changing times. After all you need something, when you are losing something (Social life).
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Mark Eriscson
Love to write about topics related to maritime sector. Was born in sailor's family, so love to ride on those high seas. In free time i would like to go for a good sunbath and some soothing guitar music. Want to have my own boat one day.

5 Replies to “5 Reasons Why People not Joining Merchant Navy

  1. Some points are debatable like the title – one cannot become seafarer unless he joins The Merchant Navy. There are lotta factors affecting the job prospects. I personally feel there is no ‘social isolation’ as most of the companies offer free internet and video calling facility,have shorter contracts to name a few.

  2. Mark Erickson (if that’s your real name), this is click bait bs, riddled with shit grammar, and it’s very clear you have no idea about shipping….you’re just a novice. In any profession you gotta work hard to reach the upper echelons, and in that sense shipping is highly rewarding.

  3. I definitely agree but emphasize that not all companies afford enough internet timing on board. The excess of rules and regulations and exaggerated monitoring of the crew with urine exams for alcohol and drugs, ISPS among other subordinate issues does no longer keep a seafarer confortable. The mixed crew is also a strong factor, the lack of brotherhood and long term contract is something not much appreciated nowadays. I would say that Heavy Lift / bulkers / tankers still manage to have a more consolidated atmosphere / shore leave against container ships which don’t afford even a honest sleep on board. Seafarers became bureaucrats and no longer have the feeling of being free at sea, sailors are not longer seen on docks and bars as yesterday, no long term shore leaves, no more healthy señoritas, no more rum and coke or a beer on board. Days have changed. I feel sorry for todays seafarers.

  4. Joining my first foreign-going ship as a cadet in 1961, fresh from two and a half years aboard the training ship Worcester, my only contact with home, friends and family, for up to six months, was by air mail letters, normally a lighweight flimsy folding blue sheet of very thin paper. The captain was very much the traditional ‘master under God’, and once the last line was cast off, debts were postponed until one returned home. My pay was just £8 – 10s a month, (£8.50p) and I was allowed two cans of lager a day – and no spirits! Most of the time we were employed as ‘cheap labour’ working alongside but not with the Lascar crew. Discipline was harsh and stoppage of shore leave in foreign ports, common. But at least we spent time alongside in port, sometimes a week, or more, unlike today’s fast turn around scedules. In 12 years at sea, with the Merchant Navy, I only received one telephone call from home, and that was barely decipherable due to R/T static! Lack of communication was taken fror granted; there was no micro-management from head office. just the occasional telegram. Being pestered by calls from credit card companies, estranged partners, etc adds to daily stress on board ship today. ‘Out of sight out of mind’ was the order of the day, and we were much happier for it!

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