As the dedicated AVIT and ETO recruiter here at wilsonhalligan for just over a year, I have a passion and excitement for the AVIT world and especially in the yachting sector. Having the ability to talk to some of the best AVIT Officers and ETOs in the industry is a definite perk to the job but with more and larger yachts being built is there enough trained crew to meet these demands? We know that technology is developing at a soaring rate but what about the skills needed to maintain and utilise these systems?
Step in Scott Molloy and Just ETOs;
Towards the end of 2018, I was lucky enough to be invited by Scott Molloy to attend an AV Level 1 course at the Just ETOs training centre in Liverpool. The course is focused on the most common systems found onboard yachts such as Crestron and Kaleidescape, giving crew with little or no experience in the AV world a solid start to understand these systems. I have already spoken very highly of Just ETOs and of Scott and his team on the level of training and equipment they use in a LinkedIn post.
With yacht AV systems developing faster than ever Scott is now focused on addressing the AV skills shortage in the industry, hence the welcome introduction of Just ETOs.
“I came into the superyacht industry in 2005 due to an IT skills shortage. And I have only seen the problem get worse since. But WHY?
One reason is the boom in the largest superyacht builds over the past decade. The trend for larger AV/IT systems means more demand for specialist skills and crew.
There is certainly a shortage of specialists with yachting experience. However, the larger yachts that normally have these are not the whole story.
In the last 10 years, demand for consumer technologies has also surged. Yachts of every size now see a myriad of fixed and mobile tech onboard. Yet superyachts towards the smaller end of the scale are much more numerous. These rarely have cabin space for an electrician, let alone an experienced AV/IT specialist.
So surely the industry problem is more of a general shortage of systems skills amongst the crew? The smaller the yacht, the more likely ANY crewmember could be deemed most suitable to support the systems.
So, how can we address this ongoing challenge?
I believe employers need to be more willing to give candidates without the required experience a chance. Yes, we need more experienced people. So, we simply must give people the opportunity to GAIN this experience!
This could be a technical candidate from outside of yachting, or perhaps a promising crewmember onboard that doesn’t have the experience – yet.
Would such a candidate then be more likely to return the faith shown in them through loyalty and better longevity?
However, when I was recruiting myself, I often saw a reluctance to give such opportunities. I assumed this was the employer’s nerves, over just how crucial the systems are. This concern can be alleviated with the addition of good shoreside support and training.
Alternatively, if we continue to headhunt the same experienced crew from other yachts, this solves nothing. This is largely what we’ve done to date.
Employers also need to invest more in crew AV/IT training. A testament to this is the surprise that over 80% of our students pay for their training themselves.
There are also benefits to vessels when dealing with a specialist technical recruiter, who truly understands the unique skills you are looking for.
We will be discussing these and similar issues in more depth in a forthcoming blog on www.justetos.com