Maritime UK comments on the government's immigration white paper

Commenting on the government's immigration white paper, Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK said: 

"Whilst we support the government’s ambition to train and recruit more British workers, that training and recruitment takes time. Industry will always require access to overseas workers, and crucially British workers will want and need to work elsewhere. That’s particularly true for the maritime sector, the most global of industries. A threshold of £30,000 would, therefore, do real harm.

“It is concerning that a number of our companies are already finding it hard to recruit skilled manufacturing workers across engineering, fabrication and carpentry in particular.

“Our shipping industry relies on seafarers from across the world, with as many from beyond Europe as from the continent. Any change to the right of these people to work in the UK maritime sector could be very damaging. Equally, we need to maintain the ability of UK seafarers to work in the European Union, including within the Superyacht industry – an industry that draws heavily on Brits. If we close the door to European workers, it’s highly likely that the EU will do the same for Brits.

“It’s hugely important that the UK is seen to be open for business. London, in particular, succeeds as a global maritime centre because of its ability to draw on top talent. Government needs to be careful to get the tone right on this.”