What’s behind the shortage of marine workers?
April 6, 2012
Filed under Brent Renneke
Many in the marine industry have reported a shortage of skilled trade workers. Whether it is mechanics or those involved with the manufacturing side, the current workforce is getting older and replacements just don’t seem available.
Even in Detroit, a city that just recently dropped below a 9-percent unemployment rate, marinas are having trouble filling mechanic positions, some of which pay $32 an hour with benefits, according to a Detroit News article.
One possible explanation, according to the article, is the job of a marine mechanic is “really hard, stuffy work,” so many mechanics prefer to contract themselves out, not having to keep up with the fast pace demanded by a marina or boatyard.
Another explanation, as seen in many other industries, would be the benefits of unemployment outweighing a job one may consider unattractive – regardless of pay. One Detroit boat maintenance shop owner said he is having trouble receiving a call back due to the fact that if the applicants are offered a job, they are required to take it.
Whatever the reason, this is an issue our industry will have to tackle to take advantage of the market as it begins to grow.