The labor market of Chinese cruise seafarers: Demand, opportunities, and challenges
The rapid development of the Chinese cruise market has brought with it an urgent increase in demand for Chinese cruise seafarers. This brings great opportunities and challenges to the Chinese seafarer labor market. This research aims to contribute to this relatively under-studied area by calculating the demand for Chinese cruise seafarers and understanding the Chinese seafarer labor market from the aspects of training, recruitment, and their work experience on ships. In order to achieve these objectives, a demand model is constructed through the idea of market-driven, in-depth interviews using a detailed questionnaire. The study estimates that the total demand for Chinese cruise seafarers in 2030 will be 100,000. This reveals a predicted gap between demand and supply of 19,200 in 2020. The current source of seafarers is mainly from domestic shipping companies, hotels, and related institutions. Their entry age is relatively young, current job profiles are mostly those in the capacity of assistants, and the average wage is 1217 dollars. Thus, there is a lot of room for improvement with their increasing experience. The study has found that most seafarers are satisfied with the work on cruise ships and are more concerned about their career development rather than salary. English communication skills and practical skills are 2 important aspects of crew training. China's cruise ship labor market thus represents both a high aggregate demand and a lack of high-end experienced talent. Labor market policies and systems in China remain to be improved. Furthermore, in the context of COVID-19’s impact on the cruise industry, the study also analyzed the changes faced by the cruise industry and the seafarer market.
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