COVID’s Effects on Yacht Recruiting

9 February 2021 By Staff Report

Everyone started off 2020 unaware of what was to come a few months in that would severely impact the world. Many started off strong before things started trending downward. YPI Crew has released their annual report where they dive into the 2020 data of yacht recruitment, which positions were affected the most, and their outlook for 2021 in terms of yacht crew.

Director Laurence Lewis shares how the yacht recruitment market was “hit fast and violently as plans to hire crew were delayed or cancelled altogether.” Many crew lost part or all of their incomes, and for those fortunate to be still working, they were on the receiving end of salary cuts and slashed rotations. The timing made it all the more devasting as March, April, and May are the busiest months for recruiters for the Med season. YPI registered an 80 percent decrease in turnover in April 2020 compared to April 2019, signaling a tough situation, but by the end of the year, their turnover only dropped 18 percent for 2020.

Following 17 percent growth for job orders between 2017 and 2019, YPI Crew ended up finishing the year with 21 percent fewer jobs compared to 2019, with a noticeable decrease starting at week 14 onwards. The engineering and deck departments saw a drop of 32 percent and 28 percent respectively. With rotation common in these departments and some losing their rotations, this reduced the need to hire, but they still remained active ranking second and third behind interior as the busiest in terms of YPI’s job orders.

While there weren’t as many jobs, YPI crew registrations increased 13 percent between 2019 and 2020, with a peak in July 2020 with a 62 percent increase over July 2019. This has continued into the new year with January 2021 having a registration increase of 34 percent compared to January 2020.

Although there were fewer job vacancies and more available crew, this did not appear to affect crew salaries at the point of hiring. “Looking forward, we are quietly confident that the year ahead will allow yachts to enjoy a longer Mediterranean season again,” Lewis writes in the report. “Especially as vaccines are deployed around the world, the yacht crew job market should recover. And certainly, early signs are promising.”