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Beating the talent time-bomb:

Strategies for Recruiting, and Retaining Top Maritime Talent

The maritime industry faces an acute shortage of skilled crew, posing immediate and enduring challenges.

In the short term, this scarcity disrupts operations, leading to increased workloads, fatigue, and even compromised safety aboard vessels. Long term, there is growing anxiety that a lack of qualified personnel threatens the industry’s sustainability, hindering growth and capacity to meet escalating demands, and risking a systemic impact on maritime commerce.

Addressing the issue calls for a multi-faceted approach with hiring companies needing to differentiate as employers of choice and more broadly as an Industry to undertake initiatives to safeguard the profession and make seafaring an attractive career choice again.

In this thought-provoking session, we will explore pivotal themes such as: 

  • Current market and data trends,  
  • building talent pipeline and emerging crew pools of the future, c 
  • Candidate screening and profiling,  
  • How to retain your talent 
  • Strategies for developing your people and closing the skills gap. 

The session promises deep insights and actionable strategies to help crewing professions unlock pathways to find, select and retain crew talent. Engage with thought leaders, exchange innovative ideas, and steer toward a more sustainable and efficient crewing future. 


Date: 5th of June 2024
Location: Posidonia Seminar Room 2B, Metropolitan Expo 190 19 Spata Greece
Time: 14:45 – 16:30 EES

Meet our guest speakers

Capt. Ioannis Anysis

Crew Development Manager – Owner’s Representative|  88Aces Maritime Services Inc a Scorpio Company

Iris V. Baguilat

President, Döhle Seafront Crewing (Manila), Inc. | Chairman, ALMA Maritime Group

Dr Loukas Barmparis

President & Director | Safe Bulkers

Capt. Panagiotis Bitsakis

Head Of Crew | Optimum Ship Services Ltd

Francesco Gargiulo

Chief Executive Officer| IMEC

Simon Grainge

Chief Executive | International Seafarers’ Welfare & Assistance Network (ISWAN)

Amalia Marcou

Crew Director & HR Manager | Enesel Dry S.A

Sean Moloney

CEO | Elaborate Communications

Mr Dimitrios Vasalakis

HR Director | Danaos Shipping


14:30 – 14:45


14:45 – 14:50

Quick overview of the day and safety briefing

14:50 -15:00

Future-Proofing Maritime Crewing: Strategies for a Changing Industry | Henrik Jensen, CEO and Founder of Danica Crewing Specialists

In this opening presentation, Henrik Jensen of Danica Crewing Specialists provides insights into the evolving maritime crewing landscape. This session will cover key challenges in sourcing, selection, onboarding, retention, and promotion. Gain insights into labour supply trends, effective talent screening, and the importance of evaluating attitudes, behaviours, and abilities. In addition, we’ll explore future trends such as decarbonisation and digitalisation, and learn strategies to navigate these changes for a resilient workforce.

15:00 – 15:10

Building cultures for competency | Raal Harris, Chief Creative Officer at Ocean Technologies Group

Following Danica’s insights, Raal Harris of Ocean Technologies Group will explore the pressing challenges in maritime workforce management and how to develop strategies to meet them head-on. We will discuss the increasing demands on seafarers, the necessity of rapid talent development, and strategies for effective retention. The session will also address the changing nature of work and life at sea, emphasising the need for substantial reskilling and strategic human capital management. Attendees will learn about leveraging data, improving vessel performance, building organisational competency and creating a cohesive vision to attract and retain top talent.

15:15 – 15:50

Panel Discussion 1: Policy & Strategy

The panel focuses on the strategy and policy and it will debate thematics such as recruitment, seafarer welfare and treatment, and maritime HR’s future.


Sean Moloney
CEO | Elaborate Communications


Capt. Ioannis Anysis | Crew Development Manager – Owner’s Representative, 88Aces Maritime Services Inc a Scorpio Company

Iris V. Baguilat | President, Döhle Seafront Crewing (Manila), Inc. | Chairman, ALMA Maritime Group

Dr Loukas Barmparis | President & Director, Safe Bulkers

Simon Grainge | Chief Executive | International Seafarers’ Welfare & Assistance Network (ISWAN)

Mr Dimitris Vasalakis | HR Director at Danaos Shipping

15:50 – 16:25

Panel Discussion 2: Practical Approaches to Managing Your Most Important Assets

Themes debated in this panel discussion include shortage of crews, attracting the right talent in a competitive market, creating a good employee experience, training and competence building and so much more.


Sean Moloney
CEO | Elaborate Communications


Capt. Panagiotis Bitsakis |Head Of Crew, Optimum Ship Services Ltd

Francesco Gargiulo | Chief Executive Officer, IMEC

Amalia Marcou | Crew Director & HR Manager, Enesel Dry S.A


    16:25 – 16:30

    Closing address and thanks

    18:30 – 22:30

    OTG Maritime Mixer at Ark Restaurant, Glyfada

    The legendary OTG Maritime Mixer returns to continue its tradition of creating a lively and informal networking experience for the Maritime Greek community.

    This time we will be taking the party at the Ark Glyfada, one of the 34 best restaurants in Greece.

    A modern design and luxurious atmosphere with a stunning sea view create a chic space that excites the senses and offers a unique experience in the vibrant nightlife of the Athenian Riviera while enjoying refreshing cocktails and networking with industry peers.

    *PLEASE NOTE* availability is extremely limited

    Our guest speakers

    Capt. Ioannis Anysis | Owner’s Rep -88Aces Maritime Services Inc, a Scorpio Company

    Ioannis joined Optimum, a Scorpio Company, as Internal Auditor in 2018 and from 2019 is the Owner’s Representative of Scorpio Manning Agency in Manila, having a pool of 2000 Filipino Seafarers for Scorpio and other third party Owned vessels.

    Prior to this position he had been sailing from Junior Officer to Master onboard diverse Greek Navy vessels and participated in numerous Peacekeeping and Maritime Interdiction operations preventing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property. After his resignation from the Greek Navy, he worked as Assistant DPA, Operations and Business Development Manager at Shipping and Maritime Security Companies.

    Iris V. Baguilat | President, Döhle Seafront Crewing (Manila), Inc. | Chairman, ALMA Maritime Group

    A seasoned lawyer, who held executive positions in various companies and organizations in the Philippine maritime sector, Atty. Baguilat’s proactive and transformative leadership shaped the company Döhle Seafront into an established crewing agency well-known locally and abroad.

    She serves as a lead consultant to several government agencies dedicated to shaping the Philippine shipping laws and advocates Filipino seafarers’ welfare by providing solutions to private and government sectors and ensuring and securing Filipino jobs at sea, among various efforts to resolve challenges in the maritime industry.  

    Atty. Baguilat is part of two of the leading maritime groups in the Philippines. She is the chairman of the ALMA Maritime Group consisting of 74 licensed Philippine manning agencies responsible for deploying more than 150,000 Filipino seafarers, and a trustee of the Maritime Law Association of the Philippines. 


    Dr Loukas Barmparis | President & Director, Safe Bulkers

    Dr. Loukas Barmparis is the President and Secretary of Safe Bulkers, Inc. and has been a member of board of directors since 2008. Dr. Barmparis also serves as the technical manager of Safe Bulkers Management Ltd in Cyprus. Until 2009 he was the project development manager of the affiliated Alasia Development S.A., responsible for renewable energy projects.

    Before joining Manager and Alasia Development S.A., from 1999 to 2005 and from 1993 to 1995, Dr. Barmparis was employed at N. Daskalantonakis Group, Grecotel, one of the largest hotel chains in Greece, as technical manager and project development general manager. During the interim period between 1995 and 1999, Dr. Barmparis was employed at Exergia S.A. as an energy consultant.

    Dr. Barmparis holds a Master of Business Administration (“MBA”) from the Athens Laboratory of Business Administration, a doctorate from the Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, a master of applied science from the University of Toronto and a diploma in mechanical engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 

    Capt. Panagiotis Bitsakis | Head Of Crew, Optimum Ship Services Ltd

    Capt Panagiotis Bitsakis – Head of Crew, handling the International crew along with the affiliated manning agencies abroad. Holds a Captain Class A Certificate with an extensive seagoing experience as a Master on Oil and Chemical tankers.

    Highly experienced in the field of crewing operations working with multiple nationalities and different types of ships. Strong crew, marine and business qualifications, with a 26-year track record of assignment in the Maritime Industry including seagoing and shoreside positions. 

    Francesco Gargiulo| Chief Executive Officer, IMEC

    Francesco joined IMEC in 2015 as CEO of the organisation. Prior to this he had accumulated years of managerial experience on board, he then went on to a shore-based Senior Marine HR management role at Carnival UK holding responsibility of up to 12,000 seafarers from more than 50 nationalities, before spending 4 years in the LNG sector with K-Line. 

     Aside from the day-to-day management of the IMEC offices in Hampshire and Manila, Francesco plays a key role in negotiations with ITF Affiliated unions through collective bargaining, representing the views of quality ship owners and managers. Within these agreements, good employment practices and high training and safety standards on board vessels are promoted. 

    Simon Grainge | Chief Executive | International Seafarers’ Welfare & Assistance Network (ISWAN)

    Simon was appointed as Chief Executive of ISWAN in June 2021. In a previous career, Simon was a Police Officer for 20 years before moving into the charity sector where he gained substantial experience of leading organisations working in the fields of homelessness and poverty reduction.

    Simon has also worked in international development in the disability sector, leading programmes in Nepal and Pakistan. He describes the maritime sector as a hidden gem and wishes he’d discovered it earlier. 

    Amalia Marcou | Crew Director & HR Manager, Enesel Dry S.A

    Amalia Marcou, born in Limassol, is an M.S graduate in Mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Dresden in Germany and an MBA Graduate from Middlesex University in London.  Having 18 years of proven track record within a Management position in the Ship Management sector.

    Since November 2015, being a member of the Human Element Committee of Intertanko. Having worked as a Fleet Personnel Manager at Bernhard Schulte Ship Management and being involved in the Greek office’s early establishment and development has rapidly expanded my knowledge and experience.

    Since 2014 working with the Enesel Group of companies, started as Crew Manager at Enesel SA in Athens, moved to Limassol in June 2015, worked as a Crew/HR Manager at Enesel Limited and since January 2023, working as a Crew Director /HR Manager for Enesel Dry S.A in Athens. 


    Sean Moloney | CEO, Elaborate Communications and Director of Shipping Innovation Ltd.

    Sean has more than 38 years experience at the top of the international maritime public relations and publishing fields.

    His long and varied career included nine years as Political Editor of Lloyd’s List prior to becoming Publishing Director of Informa’s Maritime Magazine division, which he followed by setting up his own maritime publishing and public relations business, Elaborate Communications.

    He is a Freeman of the City of London, having been clothed in the livery of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and is a member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. He also sits as an NGO at the International Maritime Organisation, representing the interests of the International Ship suppliers & Services Association.

    Mr Dimitris Vasalakis | HR Director at Danaos Shipping

    Dimitris Vasalakis is the Human Resources Director at Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd, with international experience in talent acquisition, career management, employee performance management, and compensation and benefits management.

    In the past, he has worked as an HR Business Partner and Group Talent Acquisition & Performance Senior Manager at Netcompany – Intrasoft, Group HR Director at APIVITA SA, and as an HR Specialist at the Human Resources Directorate of Intracom Telecom and the Carrefour Group.

    Dimitris holds an International M.B.A. and a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management from the Athens University of Economics and Business. He also holds a BSc in Business Administration. He has also worked at the Inform Lykos Group, ELSTAT, and the General Secretariat of Social Security. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Postgraduate Program in Human Resources Management at the Athens University of Economics and Business.


    Danica speakers

    raal harris

    Henrik Jensen | Owner of Danica Crewing Specialists

    Henrik Jensen, is the founder and CEO of Danica Crewing Specialists which provides quality crew to a wide range of vessels from its network of offices throughout Eastern Europe.

    Under his leadership Danica has excelled in selecting and training competent crew to meet the specific needs of its discerning clients around the globe, placing a great deal of importance on selecting and screening as well as developing leadership skills among its senior officers.

    A Danish citizen, Henrik has a seafaring background and served as a captain on offshore vessels before gaining extensive, high-quality shipping experience on shore. He held senior positions with a number of leading international shipping companies including Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) where he was Group Managing Director of Marine Human Resources

    Henrik founded Danica in 2013 and has developed and grown the company to become a recognised crew provider, specialising in eastern European crew supply. The company has expanded significantly and now has offices in six countries, including Germany, Cyprus, Ukraine, Georgia, India, and The Philippines.

    In addition to his nautical qualifications, Henrik holds a business degree in economics, human resources and strategy from a Danish business college.

    OTG speakers

    raal harris

    Raal Harris, Chief Creative Officer | OTG

    Raal Harris is the Chief Creative Officer of Ocean Technologies Group with responsibility for leading brand development, marketing and communications activities ensuring a great brand experience for all stakeholders..

    Prior to taking his group role, Raal was Managing Director of Videotel, where he spent fifteen years gaining extensive experience in Maritime E-Learning and the production of maritime training content and software solutions.

    Raal’s diverse background includes university lectureships in interaction design, information product design, and computer games design. An active participant in the maritime industry Raal is involved with numerous seafarer welfare, ship management and trade associations.

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