Supply of qualified UK seafarers "critical" to future success of UK as a maritime centre

David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK has written to the Transport Secretary, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, to express the entire maritime sector's support for the shipping industry's proposal to double funding for seafarer training. 

Writing on behalf of members representing the breadth of the UK's maritime sector, the letter adds the weight of the ports, marine and business services industries to the proposals developed by the shipping industry. 

Known as the SMarT+ proposals, drawn up by Maritime UK members, the Chamber of Shipping and Nautilus, the letter makes clear that the proposals would not only benefit the shipping industry, but the entire maritime sector as a whole. 

Seafarers coming ashore play a hugely significant role in supporting the rest of the UK’s maritime sector. Whether in maritime service companies in the City of London, at ports, or in engineering, the skills and expertise developed whilst at sea are critical to the health and strength of the shore side of the maritime sector.

David Dingle wrote: "It is not an understatement to say that a supply of qualified UK seafarers is critical to the future success of the UK as a maritime centre. Professional services, in which the UK currently leads the world, rely heavily upon former seafarers, whether in legal, insurance, broking or finance. With a number of maritime service companies weighing up their future in the UK post-Brexit, it is vital that further negative conditions – such as a reduced supply of skilled and experienced labour – do not add detrimentally to those considerations.

"There is a real opportunity now for government to ensure that the UK has a thriving maritime sector as we prepare to leave the European Union. It also provides a valuable opportunity for government to tangibly demonstrate its support for maritime after so positively vocalising that support during London International Shipping Week."