SMM mobilises talent

At the SMM maritime exhibition in Hamburg, from September 3-6, 2024, the maritime industry will showcase its appeal to the younger generation. The global flagship reports to Maritime Professionals that they will feature the Maritime Career Market (MCM). Here, pupils and students can explore a variety of exciting training options and careers in the maritime sector. Young talents will have the opportunity to connect with potential employers and chart their path to a promising professional future.


From navigation systems used on the bridge to machinery for ship engine rooms, and through to refitting in docks, more than 2,000 exhibitors from 70 countries will show at SMM 2024 what makes the maritime industry so unique and intriguing. This fascinating diversity is reflected in a wide range of training options and job profiles young jobseekers can learn about at the Maritime Career Market (MCM), a career platform at the flagship fair that brings together young talent and potential employers. A concept that has proved successful: This year MCM takes place for the fifth time. “We provide interested people with direct insights into various career paths in the maritime sector to support recruiting. Since this is such an important concern for the industry, we have extended the duration of this event from one to two days this year,” says Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress.

Trained specialists are in short supply

On 5 and 6 September, around 25 companies will present their employer brands to the younger generation in Hall B2. They include the likes of gearbox manufacturer Reintjes, technology company Kongsberg, yacht builders Abeking & Rasmussen, bearing and seal manufacturer SKF Marine, or propulsion specialist Baudouin, along with maritime education institutes such as Hochschule Emden/Leer. “The bottleneck that is making it difficult for companies in our industry to fill orders and deliver products to customers in a timely manner is the shortage of skilled labour. We are constantly looking for talented people and have increased our recruiting efforts,” says Martin Johannsmann, Chairman of the Board, VDMA Marine Equipment and Systems, and CEO of SKF Marine.

The MCM is an opportunity for universities, enterprises and industry associations to introduce themselves and provide visitors with specific information about various professional careers. Speeches on the Career Forum stage will address current developments, such as the digital transformation and the ‘greening’ of the shipping sector. “Young people are especially concerned about sustainability. At this event, employers can demonstrate that the maritime industry’s green transformation opens up many perspectives for them,” says Selbach. What is more, all SMM exhibitors are welcome to register for the “Job Route”. This makes it easier for pupils, students and other job seekers to locate potential employers in the Visitor Guide, the online Exhibitor Directory, or the SMM app.

Building awareness of the importance of women

To secure the future of the maritime industry, companies must adapt to changing expectations of younger generations. This includes overcoming stereotypes and driving diversity. “A variety of challenges are facing women in the maritime industry, such as the gender pay gap and discrimination in a traditionally male-dominated environment, to name just a few. Overcoming these inequalities is something our industry has to accomplish by working together – with the males in the sector,” emphasizes Dr Gaby Bornheim, President of the German shipowners association. The industry must become aware that its future depends on diversity, she adds. “Women are roughly half of the population – no-one can make do without us.” Mentoring and maintaining a constant dialogue can increase the attractiveness of the maritime industry for women, says Bornheim. Career entrant Karina Tammen from the German Maritime Centre, urges her industry to make a greater effort to inform the public about career opportunities: “There are 38 professional training options and a wide variety of academic programmes in the maritime industry – this needs to be communicated better.”

Maritime Professionals acknowledges the emphasis on attracting younger generations to the shipping industry and promoting diversity.


This article is shared by courtesy of SMM

For more articles about SMM, click here.


Narjiss Ghajour

Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals
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