News: Maritime UK launches ‘Programme for Government’


Maritime UK is today (10 October) publishing its Programme for Government. The launch coincides with the start of a UK-wide celebration of the maritime industries.

The Programme for Government sets out the maritime sector’s policy objectives for the new Prime Minister and Ministers having been developed jointly with Maritime UK’s member associations. It is launched at the start of Maritime UK Week 2022.

Maritime UK is the umbrella body and collective voice for the UK’s maritime sector. Its role is to champion and work to enable a thriving maritime sector. Its members are trade associations and partner organisations from across the breadth of the shipping, ports, engineering, leisure and professional services industries.

Maritime UK has already briefed Ministers and Shadow Ministers holding key portfolios on the policy proposals at both the Conservative and Labour Party conferences held in Birmingham and Liverpool respectively. Politicians briefed include Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Science Minister Nus Ghani and Shadow Maritime Minister Mike Kane.

The Maritime UK Programme for Government sets out over forty policy recommendations across five key priority areas:

  • Environment
  • Regional Growth
  • Competitiveness
  • People
  • Innovation

Environmental recommendations include scaling up co-investment in research, development, and deployment of pro-green technologies, with a key focus on green infrastructure for vessels. That is supported by a commitment to international regulation, led by the International Maritime Organisation, and a more pro-active government approach to help shipowners to invest in environmentally friendly assets, as well as disposing of older and more polluting ones.

Building upon the freeports programme and recognition of the sector’s contribution to levelling-up, actions on regional growth are designed to unlock further private investment by making targeted reforms to the business environment.

Recognising an increasingly competitive global maritime environment, there are policy proposals designed to attract new maritime business to the UK, boost the export of maritime products and services to growing markets and attract new foreign direct investment.

With the UK’s research and innovation budget increasing, the programme has a significant focus on innovation, and seeks relevant funding rounds for maritime businesses. Given the cutting-edge nature of much of the sector’s innovation, there’s also a focus on ensuring that regulation keeps pace with technological developments.

Whilst the sector is making great progress on initiatives like Diversity in Maritime and the national Careers and Outreach Programme, there are some people and skills actions that only the Government can take to help ensure a resilient talent pool. These include reviewing the apprenticeship levy and getting more maritime qualifications approved.

Maritime UK Week 2022 will shine a spotlight on the latest developments in the maritime sector and engage people across the UK with the world of maritime.

Responsible for enabling 95% of the UK’s global trade, maritime touches every part of our lives. As an island nation, during the pandemic, the maritime sector’s key workers kept the UK supplied with food, energy and medicine. Now, as we move toward a greener industry, the sector is investing and growing all around the UK and needs talented people to join us. Held between Monday 10 October and Sunday 16 October, people around the country are invited to explore the world of maritime through a series of careers fairs and open days.

There will also be a programme of events bringing maritime professionals together to help make progress on key issues like decarbonisation, innovation, diversity and inclusion in the sector.

Commenting on the launch of the Programme for Government, Maritime UK Sarah Kenny OBE, said:

“Maritime is a sector that can play a primary role in the government’s mission for new economic growth.

“Highly productive, the sector is forecast to double in size globally to $3trn by 2030 and the actions set out within this document can ensure that the UK realises a growing segment of the increasing global maritime economy.

“Taking great pride in what industry and government have managed to achieve over the last three years, let us go forward committed to attaining the policy ambitions set out in Maritime 2050 and building on Britain’s reputation as a leading global maritime nation.”

Download the Programme for Government below.

Click here to view the public and industry activity throughout Maritime UK Week.