To get better answers, you have to ask better questions. Most importantly, ask them of a diverse set of experts determined to navigate a world of uncertainty. (Spoiler: we’ll be doing just that at Seatrade Cruise Virtual October 5-8). When it comes to crewing, the usual logistical and personnel challenges have been exacerbated. Increased stress and anxiety over physical wellbeing, travel and bureaucratic boondoggles, and dramatic changes in the talent pool and deployments have created a crewing minefield. To make it through, we must raise better questions.
Mental and Physical Wellbeing:
- How can we care for crewmembers’ mental health either onboard or in specific ports? Mental health resources? Pastoral resources? Crew welfare committees/resources?
- How should pre-employment training programs change as a result of COVID? Which companies have already kicked off these new programs?
- What are health protocols and/or changes being developed for crew onboard and ashore?
- How can we communicate with crew who have yet to return to work—or can’t due to Visa or other issues—and what message should we send to keep them engaged?
The Talent Pool:
- Given the decrease in deployment, are we seeing an overall increase in the talent pool? Or is it offset by fear and the need to find other work before a return to service?
- What communications technology can share meaningful and engaging information efficiently?
- Is there an increase in talent with specific skill sets? How can they best be utilized?
Operational and Political Challenges:
- After the significant challenges posed in repatriating thousands of crew members, what does crewing up look like, and will crew even feel safe to return? What are you hearing from your crew at home?
- Did any regulatory bodies provide support/guidance in efforts to repatriate crew? ITF? MLC? ILO? Who has found success, and how can others replicate it?
- What health protocols or changes are being developed for crew, and who oversees them?
On Tuesday, 6 October, at 20:00 GMT, these questions and more will be addressed during Crewing Challenges in a Changing World. Led by Linda Vasquez, VP Account Development, Access Cruise Inc., the virtual session will coalesce executives eager to address the challenges from their unique vantage point. Linda’s 23 years of industry experience includes managing Norwegian’s global crew travel function. She’ll be joined by Nico Corbijn, owner of Revéles Solutions, LLC, a former Captain, and shipboard HR executive for cruise giants like Windstar, Holland America, NCL, and MSC, and Per Bjornsen, Director of Marine Operations for VShips in Monaco.