Interested in working on board a ship? Maritime Employment Service provides a meeting place for employees and workers


The Maritime Employment Service of TE Services (Merivälitys in Finnish) serves employers and jobseekers in the maritime sector in Finland. Vacancies in the sector are rarely advertised, as employers usually look for workers through the Maritime Employment Service. The service also provides help and advice on education related to the sector.


The Maritime Employment Service of TE Services assists maritime employers in recruiting crews and matches jobseekers with vacancies in the sector. The service operates administratively under the Employment and Economic Development Office of Southwest Finland, but it is also responsible for maritime employment services at the national level.

“In the past, the body responsible for maritime employment services in TE Services was known as Mylly. Some of the older generations may still ask whether this is the same service, and it is,” says Teemu Pesonen, expert at the Maritime Employment Service. 

The Maritime Employment Service primarily serves jobseeker customers of TE Offices, but those who are not unemployed or under the threat of unemployment can also contact the service, so a customer relationship with TE Offices is not required.

Maritime Employment Service is often used to find workers

As the Maritime Employment Service is located in Southwest Finland, it focuses primarily on serving jobseekers in Southwest Finland, but jobseekers living elsewhere in Finland can also contact the service.

“However, those living outside Southwest Finland cannot become customers of the Southwest Finland TE Office. In other words, jobseekers living elsewhere in Finland can use our service, but they remain customers of employment services in their own region. If you are discussing working in the maritime sector with your official, they can first contact us, and we will then contact you. You should also check with your official that your information includes a keyword related to the Maritime Employment Service, as it will help us find you when we look for workforce for ships. Your information must also include a note that you have given permission to disclose your information to employers,” Teemu Pesonen points out.  

The Maritime Employment Service knows both the individual and employer customers. The service is, in turn, well known among Finnish shipping companies, trade unions and maritime education institutions.

“Vacancies are rarely advertised in the maritime sector. Instead, shipowners often contact us when they need a chef, catering assistant or mate, for example. We then check our system to see if there are suitable employees and forward them to the employers. We can have up to 15 requests like this in a week. Workforce is often urgently needed—either on the same or the next day—so the call to work may come on a short notice. The ship cannot leave if the crew is incomplete.”

Education and job-seeking training

In addition to employment services, the Maritime Employment Service also assists in obtaining certificates of proficiency and provides advice on maritime education.

“We can, for example, provide rescue and firefighting courses, life-raft and boatman training and basic safety training as labour market training for those who are unemployed or under the threat of unemployment at our discretion and under certain conditions,” Teemu Pesonen says.

A job-seeking training Work at Sea (Laivalle töihin in Finnish) will be organised on 24–28 April for those interested in working on a ship. The five-day training discusses the basics of job-seeking both individually and in a group. The training will take place at the Auriga Business Centre in Turku, and representatives of shipping companies and trade unions will be present. Jobseeker customers of TE Offices from all parts of Finland can participate in the job-seeking training, and the registration is currently under way.

Pesonen urges those interested in working on a ship to contact the Maritime Employment Service with a low threshold.

“If we are not answering the phone, we are most likely busy serving our customers. Email is the best way to reach us. Our customer service is in Finnish, Swedish and English. Don't forget that you can also contact the shipping companies directly if you are interested in applying to work on a ship.”

Teemu Pesonen talked about the Maritime Employment Service of TE Services at the RekryExpo fair at the Turku Fair Centre on 15 March.

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Merivälitys (Varsinais-Suomen TE-toimisto) (in Finnish)

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