News: Minister ‘sympathetic’ to Nautilus charter for jobs

Shipping minister John Hayes says he is ‘sympathetic’ to the 10-point plan to boost British seafarer employment and training set out in the Nautilus Charter for Jobs.

Speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group, Mr Hayes said he had read the Union’s charter at the weekend and considered that it made ‘a very strong case’.

Questioned by Nautilus about the lack of British seafarers on the UK-flagged ro-ro containership Atlantic Star, which was christened in Liverpool last week, the minister said he had taken the issue up with Atlantic Container Lines and had urged the company to be a ‘model’ for UK employment and training.

Mr Hayes told the meeting that he believes Brexit will open up opportunities for British shipping and British seafarers, and he said he is reassessing the recommendations of last year’s Maritime Growth Study to ensure they remain relevant.

‘I am very anxious to look again at the skills agenda,’ he added. ‘I am still keen to make sure that avenues into the sector are open and that the apprenticeship programme is utilised as fully as it could be.

‘I am confident that I am right about the post-Brexit world and if I am right there are really significant opportunities for young people to enter this sector and to build long and fulfilling careers,’ the minister said.