VHR’s Marine specialist Dale Fisher on global Marine highlights of 2017 and what 2018 has in store for the international Marine Industry.
What were your Marine Industry Highlights of 2017?
We started off the year with the Vendée Globe, the single-handed non-stop yacht race around the world that is undertaken by the most skilled sailors without any assistance. The battle for first place between Alex Thomson and Armel Le Cléac'h was incredible.
Following the Vendée Globe, the America’s Cup in Bermuda was an epic event. For me, it was a fantastic experience to be in Bermuda and up close and out on the water. I was lucky enough to be on the chase boat for one of the teams during the trials, I thoroughly enjoyed being around the team and being back on the water. I was also present at the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, where the excitement and anticipation of 9 months and 40,000 miles of hard racing rippled around the whole race village.
Of the many events I attended all over the world last year – the Monaco Yacht Show being a personal favourite – what stands out the most to me is the calibre of technology. I am continually impressed with the innovations of the Marine industry, and boat design is predicted to advance even further in 2018.
What is the International Marine Industry Anticipating for 2018?
The British Marine industry is set to boom in 2018, and UK shipyards and manufacturers are already incredibly busy. The fall in Sterling since the 2016 EU referendum has led to a boom in Britain's boat and yacht industry, with revenues at their highest level since the financial crisis. However, Brexit could also spell negative effects for the British Marine industry – European Marine workers may encounter difficulties when wanting to work in the UK, leaving significant gaps in the market for engineering and technical skills requirements – but British Marine businesses are already planning for these skills shortages.
With natural disasters at an all-time high, the philanthropic activities of yacht owners are gaining in popularity, as seen in the Caribbean recently. VHR are also now working in the Caribbean for the first time, sending workers out to help the islands following the devastation wrought on the Caribbean Marine environment by Hurricane Irma.
Superyachts are predicted to continue in their five-year pattern of growth and success, with the luxury yacht sector attracting more skilled engineers and technicians than traditional boat-building. As we begin the year with new advances in marine technology, a greater push for safety in yacht racing and the increasing awareness of sustainability, 2018 will be an eventful year for the marine industry globally.
What’s in Store for VHR’s Marine Division in 2018?
Our strategy for 2018 will involve solidifying our position as specialist superyacht suppliers. Last year we saw a big increase in requirements our UK clients, which is in part due to the weak pound and subsequent effects on the British Marine industry as a whole. We will also be expanding our global footprint, with a new focus on offering several viable recruitment solutions for short-term and longer-term placements for Dutch communities in Holland.
From our beginning in 2012, VHR’s Marine division has grown rapidly. Following our new partnership with ANEN, the Spanish Marine Trade Association, VHR will be expanding our presence in the Spanish market and continue to partner with leading Marine businesses in Spain and throughout Europe. From promoting our brand as Marine recruitment specialists, sustaining our close involvement in the industry and building our global reach, we are starting to see VHR’s Marine division come into maturity, with continued success on the horizon for 2018.
What Skills Will Marine Companies Require in 2018?
The global and British Marine industry will see new requirements for skills across the board. From design, engineering and construction to interior & exterior fit-out, filling, fairing and painting, skilled technicians will enjoy great opportunities in the international Marine industry in the next year.
What Challenges Will International Marine Companies Face in 2018?
Businesses across the international Marine industry will need to strive to keep up with their current order books. We are seeing a global increase in orders for new boats, and every boat needs an expert team to build it.
Leading yacht manufacturers across the globe are investing in efficiencies to address skills shortages and rising demand. The international Marine industry is increasingly taking learnings from other sectors such as motorsport, using LEAN manufacturing principles to introduce and streamline processes and meet demand in a structured and sensible way. Boat builders are jumping on board with evolving manufacturing methods, automating where they can and reducing human error, to produce greater numbers of high quality boats and guaranteeing business growth and success.
Dale Fisher has over 20 years’ professional experience in the Marine industry, working on projects across the globe for some of the highest profile yachts in the world. As VHR’s Head of Marine, Dale provides recruitment services for a variety of international Marine businesses.