The background and purpose of this study The growing shortage of seafarers has become an issue of global concern. This is especially evident in light of the recent rapid growth of the maritime industry. According to the influential BIMCO/ISF Manpower Update 2005 an anticipated shortage of some 27,000 maritime officers worldwide is forecasted by the year 2015.
Various factors have been observed in the world economy between 2005-2010, which have influenced the future supply of seafarers. One is the increase in the number of ships needed to handle the increased global cargo movement due to new emerging economies, such as China and India.
During this same time period we have also seen an easing up in the supply-demand situation due to such factors as cancellation of shipbuilding contracts and acceleration of ship scrapping following the Lehman economic shock in 2008. To better understand the prospects of the future demand/supply of seafarers there is a need for a more detailed study of how the various changes in world economy influence the maritime industry. Due to the aforementioned circumstances, it has become a global agenda to tackle the problem of global shortage of seafarers so that maritime stakeholders can better secure the necessary quantity of high caliber young seafarers. The International Maritime Organization has already launched the “Go to Sea Campaign!” since 2008 in cooperation with some key members of maritime stakeholders as part of this agenda.