Competences, skills and career expectations: insight from the Italian seafarers’ labour market

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Seafarers represent a critical resource for the shipping industry since they significantly affect the competitiveness of shipping companies. Nonetheless, few prior contributions have been addressed to labour performance in this sector and several literature gaps still persist. Therefore, the paper aims to identify the main hard and soft skills of seafarers, according to their onboard position and qualification. Moreover, the manuscript provides valuable insights on the Italian shipping labour market, by investigating how Italian seafarers evaluate their own skills and competences and future career expectations. We administer an ad-hoc structured questionnaire to Italian seafarers involved in deck, engine and hotellerie departments, receiving 694 usable responses. The outcomes provide an in-depth overview of the Italian Seafarers’ labour market, leaving several rooms for future academic studies. In addition, the results are expected to support both maritime and port-related managers as well as policy makers when modelling public and private employment services.