Norbulk Shipping is celebrating 25 years of training and recruiting seafarers from its management offices in Riga, Latvia.
The crewing and training centre that is run by Hanza Marine Management, a partner company to Norbulk Shipping, supplies 4,000 seafarers to 150 vessels and supplies a wide range of crewing recruitment and training services to its clients.
This year, it is celebrating 25 years in business after the manning agency was set up in the early 90s, shortly after Latvia regained independence
Peter Karlsen, Director of Norbulk Shipping, said: “We are really excited that our recruiting centre in Riga is celebrating 25 years of crewing and recruitment. I am very proud of the good reputation it has built up in the seafaring community over the last quarter of a century.”
The Riga office, located in Latvia which is one of the top 10 largest suppliers of seafarers worldwide, supplies crews and ratings for many different types of vessels, including chemical, products and gas tankers, bulkers, refrigerated cargo, off-shore supply and Ro-Ros.
Capt Aleksandrs Goridjko (pictured), who heads up the office, is responsible for ensuring staff follow a rigorous approval process. This involves testing knowledge, conducting interviews, reference checks, documents, endorsements, flag licenses, and visas and travel needs.
He has seen the crewing sector change extensively over the last 25 years with young aspiring seafarers spending less time to become qualified, and fewer people training as engineers.
Capt Goridjko said: “Less and less young people are making their occupational choice in favour of the harder engineer’s job, most people prefer the profession of deck officer, which looks much more attractive for them. Another big problem is the shortage of electrical engineers, reefer and gas engineers. The main reason for this is that specialists in these positions will remain in the same rank until the end of their career, with no prospects of promotions.
“Nowadays, with the economic crisis, more and more employers want the most experienced crew members but only want to pay the minimum amount for them.
“We are working with colleges and schools to encourage young people to consider training as an engineer in the shipping industry. We need to attract more young people into shipping.”