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Crew Agencies

Crew Placement Agencies (Employment Agencies)

One of the best ways to break into the yachting industry is through the crew placement or recruitment agencies (referred to by most as simply “crew agencies”). These agencies are not the ones who do the actual hiring. Rather, they are the middlemen—the ones who match you up and arrange your job interviews with yachts who are looking for crew. They then act as a liaison throughout the interviewing and hiring process.

Ultimately, a yacht’s captain, owner, or personnel manager will make the decision to hire you. If you are hired as a stew through an agency, the agency will charge the yacht a percentage of your first month’s salary. (And no, that money is not taken out of the pay you are to receive.) Therefore, it is not the crewmember’s responsibility to pay to be placed; employers pay the placement fees once they have hired you.

In fact, never under any circumstances should you have to pay money to a recruitment agency in order to be placed in a crew position. According to the new requirements of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006), it has been established that seafarer recruitment and placement agencies are not allowed to charge crewmembers directly or indirectly, in whole or part, any fees or other charges for recruitment or placement services or for providing employment to crew members (excluding the cost of the crew obtaining a national statutory medical certificate and a passport or other similar personal travel documents). [Ref MLC 2006 A1.4.5b, B2.2.2.4i, B1.4.1.2e] Registering with placement agencies will always be free to you. So beware of online scams.