Length of Service
The crews length of service on vessels they worked on at the time of the survey ranged from 1 month to 38 years, with an average of 5.6 years. The distribution of crew length of service by nationality in 2015 is comparable to that observed in the 2013 sample. In both years, Scottish crew accounted for a larger share of total crew as length of service increased ( Figure 8). As in 2013, the 2015 data indicates the longest serving non- EEA crews had been working on Scottish vessels for 7 to 12 years. The rise in the share of EEA and non- EEA crew with declining length of service could suggest there are more foreign crew that have joined the Scottish fleet in recent years or the foreign crew tend to be more mobile between vessels.
Figure 8: Length of service on current vessel by nationality in 2015 (n = 752)
Figure 9: Percentage of crew's lengths of service (years) by sector (n = 729)
Figure 9 shows that crews that have served 1 to 3 years on current vessels accounted for the largest share of crew across all sectors. This is particularly so for demersal under 24m vessels where 54% of crews on sampled vessels had been working on their current vessel for 1 to 3 years. Around 40% of crews in the Nephrops sector had been working on current vessels for 1 to 3 years. The scallop dredge sector has the highest share of crews (28%) that had worked on current vessels for less than 1 years. The demersal over 24m, seine and pair trawls appear to have high rates of crew retention; 40% of the crew had worked on the same vessel for over 7 years.
Figure 10: Mean length of service by sector in 2015 (n = 752)
Figure 10 presents the mean length of service by sector in 2015. Demersal over 24m, seine and pair trawl have the highest mean at 7.2 years followed by pot and trap vessels at 5.8 years. Demersal under 24m and Nephrops trawl had the lowest length of service at 5.1 and 4.7 respectively.
Figure 11: Mean length of service by position in 2015 (n = 752)
Figure 11 presents the mean length of service by position in 2015. As with age, the mean length of service decreases by position of authority on vessels. Skipper/owners had the highest average length of service at 9.2 years, followed by skippers and engineers at 6.7 years and 7.0 years respectively. Deckhands had the lowest average length of service by position at 3.4 years on their current vessel.
Figure 12 shows how vessels recruited crews by crew nationality for the 2015 sample. Informal networks (e.g., through word of mouth, family/friend and historic relationships) are the most common method used to recruit Scottish crew. Recruitment of non- EEA crew tended to rely on agencies and a small amount on informal networks e.g. recommended by other crew member, while recruitment of EEA crews used both informal networks, agencies and job searches.
Figure 12: Methods of recruitment by nationality (n = 553)