Future Trends in Israel Seamanship: Marine Manpower

About 99% of Israeli trade is transported by sea. Despite the peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, in times of war it is impossible to rely on these bordering countries for overland trade routes, and therefore, Israel has to maintain and develop its maritime routes in peacetime and all the more so in wartime. Thus, this study focused on analyzing the needs of the Israeli economy, taking into account the expected developments of Israeli shipping and the infrastructure development of ports in Israel.

The study indicates that in recent years there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of maritime officers. In 2010, there were 311 officers, whereas in 2015 this number dropped to 200, and at the end of 2016 contracted to only 129 registered officers. If that was not enough, in 2010 there were 50 captains, in 2015 there were 33 captains, and in 2016 there were only seven captains.

The potential target population for recruiting to the merchant fleet is the graduates of the Marine officers' school and the Navy, members of sailing organizations, and immigrants from the former Soviet Union, in anticipation of attractive world travel, adventure, and a high-income level; however, the reality is different. The training course is long, and the gap between expectations and the reality at sea is large. Working on the sea is characterized by long absences from home and isolation and slow progress through the ranks, and the salary does not meet expectations. These are the main reasons why officers leave the sea. In general, merchant marine officers, especially senior ones, are offered work in on-shore professions in demand by government agencies and companies, and it is more lucrative for them to exchange their sailing for professional offshore work. The report provides recommendations and can be viewed on the SNI Website.


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