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UK Marine Industry Salary Survey reveals higher than average salaries but with several challenges on the horizon

Published on: 28 November 2019

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The results from the first national marine industry salary survey, conducted by British Marine member, Marine Resources are in. The survey reveals a range of insights into the current state of the employment market in the UK, highlighting a number of positives, as well as areas for improvement.

Key findings:

  • Average salaries within the marine industry are above the national average
  • Large pay disparity within marine industry sectors
  • Attracting talent from outside the industry represents a major challenge according to employers
  • Majority of marine industry employees are open to transferring to other industries
  • Gender-based pay inequality within the industry is statistically lower than the national average but still represents an area for improvement
  • The number of young people entering the industry is an area of concern
  • Poor levels of pay and a lack of training represent key concerns for employees

James Ward, Managing Director, Marine Resources commented: “The survey has revealed a lot of new information but also confirmed many of the opinions we already held. It is great to see the gender pay gap below the national average but it’s clear that more investment is required to reduce it to zero and attract more women into the industry. Equally clear is employers’ need to do more to support those entering the marine industry with regular training and better levels of remuneration as they progress their careers if they want to retain the best talent.

Talent retention is an issue that was commented on by a high number of respondents, with the need for employers to review their investment in training, workplace culture and overall levels of pay all seen by employees as being areas in need of improvement.

The survey results support concerns employers have regarding recruiting experienced employees, with wages not rising in line with experience in several areas and a willingness from employees to leave the world of marine to work in other specialist industries.

We can see from the results that a shortage of specialist skills is already an issue, and this is only going to get worse if employers don’t respond to what they are being told by their employees and address the issues head on. With a concerningly low level of under 24's in the industry, and with a lack of training identified as a separate issue, it is easy to see that significant challenges are coming down the road if investment isn’t forthcoming.

It is also interesting to note the difference in levels of pay between different sectors within the industry. It could be easy to conclude that the leisure marine sector doesn’t pay as well as other sectors but that doesn’t take into account the nature of the roles. The leisure marine sector has a significant percentage employed in customer service-related positions, which naturally don’t command the wages of specialist roles. All these details are available in the report, so it makes for a very interesting read when you drill down into it.”

Find out more and read the full report on the Marine Resources website here.

Find the latest vacancies on the British Marine website here.