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Employment: the boating sector is looking for young people

The boating sector is struggling to recruit candidates, whether in Brittany, La Rochelle or the Mediterranean. The sector is in high demand on the coasts to find people passionate about sea trades.

According to the regional director of Pôle emploi in the Occitanie region, the sector would be in need of 1,000 to 1,500 people. Hence the importance of what is called the blue economy, which recruits candidates with varied and specific skills.

The sector is holding up well

Boating is on the rise in France, since many people seek to acquire boats each year. French companies also export a lot of boats, especially yachts, veritable floating luxury homes.

The customers are international, especially American. These real sea houses which can carry a whole crew and a family offshore for weeks have been very successful in recent months. Indeed, the global health crisis passing through it, the desire for getaways and to take off have increased. Thus, market leaders have seen demand rise, and this is cause for celebration for the next few years, however recruitment must be able to follow this evolution.

We then see the managers of certain companies struggling to find new talent, young people or experienced workers, who must learn a trade and know-how very specific to the marine world. A situation that Pôle Emploi is also trying to remedy by communicating about the available positions and by promoting nautical employment.

The difficulty of recruiting

That there are vacancies is one thing, but you still have to be able to fill them. The problem is not always to find candidates, but it is also necessary to train them, because the nautical trades require specific skills. You have to find people capable of working with composite materials.

This can be carpenters, cabinetmakers, electricians or even plumbers. On the other hand, there are also habitat trades for yachts and tall ships, in order to fit out real little houses. The professions are vast and the profiles are all different.

Companies are struggling to find enough professionals who already have degrees in these fields. Thus, many people have to go through in-house training before they can work in the boating industry. The market leader in yacht construction has even entered into a partnership with Pôle Emploi in order to recruit by simulation and then continue with 400-hour in-house training. Strong measures to succeed in filling the lack of qualified labour.

An under-recognized sector?

Cabinetmakers, electricians or even plumbers, it is, but still it is necessary to encourage them to come and work in the nautical world. If they do not come there naturally, it is perhaps because of the lack of media coverage of this sector which is still poorly identified and recognized.

However, it is a whole universe of passion above all for the sea. An opportunity to build different things than classic houses. This is an opportunity to build beautiful boats that we then see set sail.

In addition, the sector is in full expansion, the sector is doing well and will continue on this trend for a few years. There is then enough to make motivated, organized and rigorous people want to try their hand at this area, even if you are not a boat enthusiast.

The field is buoyant and demanding, so Pôle Emploi seeks to bet on this “blue economy”, that is to say the industries and activities of the river and maritime world. Over the past few months, we have seen systems being put in place, in Occitania, Brittany or on the Côte d’Azur, to promote the professions and know-how of this industry which is unknown to young audiences.

A more general situation

Recruitment difficulties are not only reserved for the world of boating, it is a global phenomenon, the consequence of several elements.

According to the secretary general of the Fin, the Federation of Nautical Industries, the situation is due both to the covid crisis and to a change in mentalities. People seem to reconsider their life goals, they want to enjoy their time more and live differently. Thus, boating and water sports present themselves as interesting life alternatives.

You can leave to isolate yourself easily in just a few hours by boat and enjoy the calm. Since the first confinements, many of them have wanted a boat, a sailboat or a yacht to isolate themselves from the world and go traveling. Enough to hope for good years for the blue economy which will continue to make people dream. Unfortunately, the sector may have difficulty keeping up with this demand in the future, due to the new crisis in the East which is hampering the supply of raw materials.

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