It must be exciting times for all those Engineers who couldn't be bothered to study for their First Class License. You just get to walk right into what others have had to invest considerable time and effort to earn. Everyone is a Chief Engineer now, yay. But there's a catch, now everyone has it and as we all know when everyone has something it no longer has any value. It really makes the whole profession not a profession anymore, its just a dead end thankless job. There's nothing to aspire to or achieve, you graduate from some Cadet program, knock around on some tugs for a few years and then you are automatically qualified to be the Chief Engineer on even the largest and most complex vessels. That doesn't make any sense.
Look how poor working conditions are for Marine Engineers at the moment. They definitely will not improve now that we will all be so very, very disposable. Many companies that have been providing decent leave systems are already starting to eliminate them. Another very important point is this; in the past, when there have been economic downturns, companies have kept Chief's and Seconds around. Sometimes they will ship keep, double up on another boat or some other arrangement to retain their employment. This was due to the difficulty experienced in recruiting "big tickets". That won't happen anymore. If your boat lays up, you're gone! The taxi's will be waiting on the dock before the lines are out.
Chief Engineers could derive a certain confidence (not much) from the fact that they were not easily replaced. Now that Chief's will be a dime a dozen, there will be a considerably reduced ability to make any "demands", for parts, stores, competent crew etc. Most Chief's aren't in a Union. Our job security was partially derived from the fact that we had a license that was difficult to attain. Those days are over.
This is a sad, sad time to be a Marine Engineer. They might as well eliminate Cabotage and get it over with. Stop pulling off the band-aid slowly. Any young person getting involved in this industry now should have their head examined. I can't blame the people who became engineers a few years ago. Once you advanced there was reasonable job security.
Could somebody please answer one simple question for me? Why do things in the marine industry keep getting worse? Every single day it gets worse. You can't go ashore anymore, the licenses are a joke, the leave systems are moving away from month on/off instead towards it, crews are getting smaller, the companies aren't feeding us, the ships are run down, Class doesn't enforce anything, etc. etc. etc.I'm completely fed up.
Cadets and recent graduates, do something else its not too late. Seriously, don't end up like me, middle aged and without real options.
The office, or anyone ashore will never respect you, to them we are garbage. semi-literate boat garbage. The lowest down person in the office, whoever that is, is more valued than the most experienced ship based employee. I would actually say that maritime personal are despised by the office. Listen to the way they patronize you the next time you talk to anyone ashore. Working on ships is no life, I was told that when I was a Cadet and didn't listen.