PROPEL, a new social media and recruitment platform designed for seafarers has launched version 2.0 of its service after a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The crowdfunding campaign saw many seafarers invest and become shareholders in the platform, which aims to assist seafarers in managing their career and obtaining their dream job whilst driving conversation and positive change within the industry. The platform aims to provide better data security and recruitment opportunities for seafarers, particularly amid the move towards digitalisation accelerated by the Covid 19 pandemic.
PROPEL 2.0 includes the roll out of many new and exciting features designed to benefit seafarers and those looking for maritime talent. On the successful crowdfunding activities, Fraser Matthew, one of three PROPEL co-founders and an actively serving captain, said: “We are really excited to be sharing the ownership of PROPEL with so many seafarers. For us, it is real validation that PROPEL can achieve what it was set out to do – bringing seafarers together, allowing them to manage their career and helping them to find their dream job.”
When asked what he believes is behind the ongoing success of PROPEL – in terms of the strong number of sign-ups and successful crowdfunding, Capt. Fraser explains:
“PROPEL has made a set of pledges that are the bedrock of the relationship between the platform and its users. We pledge that we will never charge users to access PROPEL or apply for any job, we will always respect and protect their data and we are committed to having their voice heard. I think people see that we are genuinely trying to drive positive change in the lives of seafarers and want to be part of what we are building.”
A revamped user interface and new features such as an upgraded ‘Digital Discharge Book’, a new way of securely sharing documents called ‘PROPEL check’ and unique discussion groups known as ‘Cabins’ are now available to new and existing members at www.propelme.io
With difficult times on the horizon for the maritime industry, Capt. Fraser hopes that the emergence of PROPEL will help both seafarers and those looking for maritime talent alike.
“We are currently in a strange environment where despite there being a well-documented shortage of seafarers, there are thousands of seafarers struggling to find jobs due to COVID-19. PROPEL will bridge that gap – enabling those looking for maritime talent to find and select the best crew, and empowering seafarers looking for work to manage their digital CV and apply for jobs via PROPEL – a win-win for the industry.”
Corruption and the uncontrolled sharing of seafarer data is also a traditional problem facing the maritime recruitment industry but PROPEL aims to address this too.
“Seafarers are continually sharing their personal data through the out-dated process of sending their CVs to often unverified email accounts, frequently receiving no acknowledgment or reply back. With PROPEL you build your Digital Discharge book once and apply for unlimited jobs via PROPEL!” Capt. Fraser explains.
Finally, when asked for Capt. Fraser’s top tip for getting that dream job he had this to add: “be yourself, be confident and make sure your PROPEL profile is up to date!”
- The international shipping industry is responsible for the carriage of around 90% of world trade.
- The worldwide population of seafarers serving on internationally trading merchant ships is estimated at 1,647,500 seafarers.
- Every month approx. 150,000 seafarers start a new contract, the majority of which hail from just five countries – Philippines, China, Indonesia, Russia and India.