MYS 2018: A Match Made in Heaven with ACREW
Abi McGrath, Director and Owner of ACREW, and Avnish Dhall, Owner of Crew Match, came to talk to us about the little acknowledged matter of crew suitability, and how their new partnership is working to make staff-life a little easier.
Offering specialised services to captains and crew for 8 years, ACREW has over 12,000 members reaping the benefits of learning, events and networking. Recently, they have opened a channel offering membership to vessels: “This is very much seen as a quality enhancing, money saving opportunity for the yacht,” Abi explans.
There are four pillars to their new concept of yacht membership. The first is the offering of savings in the area of berthing and refit; ACREW have recruited a global network of marinas and shipyards to offer exclusive discounts in these areas. The second aspect of membership is enhancing the professional development of the crew, achieved by partnering with leading providers who agree to discounted training.
Thirdly, Abi and her team look at the operational expenses of the yacht such as fuelling, insurance or provisioning, then working with partners who can offer discounted services. The final pillar ensures that crew find the best jobs for them, as well as that yachts find the best candidates.
This is where Avnish and Crew Match come in. Crew Match brings together employers, recruitment agencies, management companies and yachts in an effective and intuitive way.“We empower crew to showcase their best abilities to prospective employers,” Avnish tells us, “All of this is brand new to the industry, and hopefully we will be able to take this forward and make life better for the crew and easier for the recruitment companies."
As an ex-captain, Dhall’s insistence on the important of crew finding boats that are right for them, and vice versa, comes from personal experience. When people apply for a job on a yacht through job portals or static CVs, they rarely stumble across a position which is a good fit, resulting in higher turnover of crew.
This is something that Avnish believes needs to change: “What is the length of time that a crew member stays on a boat nowadays? They are lucky if they finish one contract. On my last boat, the average crew member stayed for 10 years. That is what we’re looking for, that’s what we want to ingrain.” Crew Match operate on the assumption is vitally important to consider the culture of life onboard a specific yacht when looking for people to take care of it.
Looking to the future, ACREW and Crew Match will host the inaugural Crew Awards in Nice. “We have 17 award categories in recognition of the professionalism of crew, including Best Captain, Chief Stew, Engineer… all of the positions on board,” Abi explains. The awards have received 200 nominations and over 12,000 votes, with a panel of 30 judges now participating in focus groups to judge the different categories.
Using the Monjin video platform to present finalists, ACREW will be hosting the awards ceremony on the 13th October. This is a hugely important step for an often-overlooked sector of the yacht industry, and Abi articulates this concisely in her assertion that “Working on yachts, you focus tirelessly on taking care of others - this is an opportunity for captains and crews to get recognised themselves”.
"Working on yachts, you focus tirelessly on taking care of others - this is an opportunity for captains and crews to get recognised themselves."