News: Union launches new charter for jobs

Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson has launched a new Charter for Jobs, calling for government and industry to work together to secure of the future of the UK maritime sector and deliver decent work and training opportunities for British seafarers.

‘Brexit provides the opportunity to maximise the opportunities that exist for the UK sector and maximise the employment of UK seafarers,’ Mr Dickinson told members and guests at the UK branch symposium in Cardiff.’We believe that all the measures we have set out in this charter will secure the future of our industry and promote the employment and training of our seafarers.'

‘Many years ago we ran the Sea Sense campaign which reversed some of the decline in UK seafarer numbers and encouraged the government to launch the tonnage tax scheme and SMarT training support, as well as retaining seafarer tax deductions,’ he added.‘Maritime organisations and the UK government must now work together to deliver decent work for British seafarers in the interests of the nation’s strategic and economic needs.’

The Union’s 10-point charter:


1. Secure 100% financial support for the cost of training UK-resident seafarers to avoid a serious skills shortage within the next decade.

2. Review shipowner tax relief schemes (Tonnage Tax) so the UK remains attractive to owners whilst promoting the training and employment of UK-resident seafarers


3. Maximise the employment of British seafarers in the UK, especially in:

  • coastal shipping
  • passenger and freight ferry services
  • offshore windfarms
  • offshore oil and gas exploration and decommissioning

4. Develop a national maritime strategy with support from trade unions, government and industry.

5. Encourage investment in UK maritime education and training so it retains its world-leading status.

6. End support for the Red Ensign Group of registers and encourage British shipowners to return to the UK Ship Register.

7. Improve the system for issuing foreign seafarers with Certificates of Equivalent Competency to deliver more opportunities for British seafarers on UK ships.

8. Apply the National Minimum Wage (and the National Living Wage) and the Equality Act to all vessels engaged in UK waters.

9. Promote the employment of UK-resident seafarers on routes between UK ports (cabotage) including the North Sea offshore sector.


10. Ensure all existing health, safety, environmental and employment legislation is maintained following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

This is an SOS to deliver on promises made during the referendum debate and prioritise Jobs, Skills and a decent future for UK maritime professionals.