The latest five-year BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report forecasts a serious future shortage in the supply of seafarers. The global supply of officers is forecast to increase steadily, but this is predicted to be outpaced by increasing demand.
The report suggests that in the past five years the industry has made good progress with increasing recruitment and training levels and reducing officer wastage (i.e. retaining qualified seafarers and increasing the number of years which they serve at sea). But the report indicates that, unless training levels are increased significantly, the growth in demand for seafarers could generate a serious shortage in the total supply of officers.