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MITEC survey shows need for specialists

MIAMI BEACH — An industry-needs assessment survey shows that electrical specialists, engine mechanics and electronics specialists are among the most sought-after positions by employers, according to the Marine Industry Training & Education Council.

The results of the survey were presented at the council's Conference on Marine Industry Technical Training, held yesterday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event was a preconference session in advance of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference, which begins here today and runs through Wednesday.

The survey, completed by 325 marine businesses as of the end of September, shows 73 percent of respondents plan to hire in the next three years and are in need of specialists. The majority of respondents were boatbuilders, service professionals, dealers and brokers, with 43 percent being small businesses with less than 25 employees.

The survey also shows there is no geographic "hot spot" and trained, skilled labor is needed around the country, said MITEC member Ed Sherman, who briefed the conference's 70 attendees on the survey results.

Other survey results include:

  • 82 percent of respondents said the lack of skilled workers is a moderate-to-severe problem for the marine industry.
  • 81 percent feel on-the-job training is the best teaching method.
  • More than 60 percent feel lack of motivation, lack of communication skills, lack of initiative, and lack of analytical skills are problems with employees.

"It's not all about turning a wrench," Sherman said.

MITEC chairman Steve Kitchin said the survey is still posted online and he's hoping to get 400 or more respondents by the end of November.

Click here to take the survey.

— Beth Rosenberg
b.rosenberg@tradeonlytoday.com

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