Working It in Australia and New Zealand

12 January 2012 By Jackie Miller, By Kara Murphy

As more and more yachts head south for Australia and New Zealand, perhaps it’s time that the crew leave their usual job-hunting haunts and head Down Under.

According to a spokesperson for Superyacht Australia, the peak body representing the Australian superyacht industry,  the peak body representing the Australian superyacht industry, approximately 120 superyachts are currently based in Australia. That’s about 20 percent more than a year ago.

More Australian-based superyachts mean more local job opportunities, of course. Still, if you’re in Australia and looking for superyacht work, you’ll definitely boost your chances if you’re also willing to consider overseas positions.

Start your job hunt by contacting either Australian Superyacht Crew Recruitment & Training (ASC) at the Sydney Superyacht Marina or Crew Pacific in Cairns.

At the time of writing, ASC had nine Australia-based positions posted on its website. Crew Pacific’s website had less Aussie positions posted, but owner/operator Joy Weston told that crew who register with Crew Pacific are notified about positions before they’re posted online. And, said Weston, 30 percent of jobs that come through her agency are based in Australia.

Both agencies hold free career information nights and deliver training courses that will help increase crew’s chances of securing jobs.

For example, Crew Pacific runs five- or eight-day Superyacht Steward/ess training courses and a two-day induction course, and ASC’s offerings include several internationally recognized, PYA-accredited interior crew training courses as well as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)-endorsed STCW95 basic safety training.

To work on superyachts or commercial vessels, you must have the STCW95 certification, and to work on Australian-flagged vessels, your STCW95 certification must have the AMSA endorsement.

If you’re not an Australian citizen and you don’t already hold a visa with work rights, you can work on superyachts in Australia for up to 12 months by obtaining a free Superyacht Crew Visa. However, you’ll need to find a job first — the captain or owner of the superyacht on which you’ll be working must sponsor you — and you’ll need to provide employment details.

In you’re in or headed for the Land of the Long White Cloud, get ready, because work opportunities abound. Often after spending over a year on board, crew change is almost certainly going to happen as yachts arrive in New Zealand.  Many take their leave in order to explore what this part of the world has to offer. Whatever their reasons, many crew arrive in New Zealand and give their notice of leave, which bodes well for candidates on the docks looking to take that coveted bunk space.   

Upon arrival, first and foremost, seek out an agent first before you start your search.  Auckland is a relatively small port; agents get to know all the boats very well and have a good handle on what’s around employment wise — both nationally and internationally — and can advise the various styles of boat to candidates to ensure a good match. Honest, open advice is always given to both parties, but sometimes may require candidates to up skill themselves (particularly those new to the industry) in order to reach their full potential and secure their dream role.  

In a crew-short market, or for difficult-to-place positions, it’s not just about the client finding the right fit, we’re finding candidates also are interviewing potential employers therefore both parties need to present what they have to offer with total transparency.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are temporary jobs out there for vessels visiting islands throughout the Pacific who run with a smaller crew, but when on charter need to bulk up their staff.

Superyacht Support's Crew Placement Manager Jackie Miller has over 10 years’ experience in the recruitment area and prides herself on working together as more of a partnership in order to find the “right fit” for both parties. To discuss your requirements contact Jackie at  or +64 21 940360.