Recruitment hard in marine, reveals report

Salaries and recruitment in the marine industry have been surveyed Photo: Marine Resources Salaries and recruitment in the marine industry have been surveyed Photo: Marine Resources
Industry Database

The UK's marine industry faces a large pay disparity between sectors and an inability to recruit talent, particularly young people.

These are the findings from the first UK national survey of marine industry salaries. survey, conducted by Marine Resources.

However, the survey also found a number of positives such as a lower than national average gender pay gap and an above national average salary.

Salaries and pay equality

The average salary in the marine sector is 5.3% above the national average (ONS latest figures from October 2019). However, the survey of 4,665 individuals was heavily weighted towards those living in London and the south with 71.9% of respondents working in those regions. That average salary is not split equally amongst the sectors with those working in the least well paid sector - leisure - paid on average 38% less than those in the most well paid – offshore/marine renewables.

Whilst the gender pay gap is lower than the national average – 9.7% versus 17.3% - there are concerning disparities when it comes to career progression with only 10% of women earning more than £55k compared with 25% of men.


Roles within engineering are listed as the most in-demand but also the hardest to recruit for. Employers cite high salary expectations, a low number of qualified candidates, the appeal of contract working and the drain of talent from the marine industry to better paid sectors as reasons for the difficulty in recruiting.

This perceived talent drain, which was also given as a key reason why employers struggle to recruit for specialist positions, is supported by the survey results with 59% of employees stating that they would consider moving to another industry.

The survey also identified a worrying lack of young people entering the industry with just 2.97% of those surveyed aged under 25.

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