Maritime UK Skills Strategy

The UK Government’s Maritime Growth Study recommended that Maritime UK develop a skills strategy:

For the promotional body recommended in this report to identify and prioritise the key skills issues facing the UK maritime sector by assessing the current and future need for wider skills and qualifications across the UK maritime sector as a whole and developing a ‘skills strategy’ with focused objectives for addressing these concerns Maritime UK's National Council was keen to understand this as a more all-embracing ‘people’ strategy – ie where the word ‘skills’ refers to every aspect of recruiting, retaining and nurturing the skilled and talented people we need for future success, rather than a narrower focus on training alone.

Our focus has fallen very much on recruitment: attracting talented people to work in the maritime sector, recognising that many other sectors are also working hard to attract those same talented people.

Maritime UK’s contribution to the Skills Strategy is coordinated by its People and Skills Forum, and its constituent groups: the Skills Strategy Task Group, the Careers Promotion Forum, and the Women in Maritime Task Force.

The People and Skills Forum undertook some initial research, both to identify what is already known and understood in different parts of the maritime sector, and also to identify the main issues in different parts of the sector.

That survey went to all members of Maritime UK, and also all members of the Maritime Skills Alliance. The resulting report went back to all members of both organisations, and is in Appendix A.

In this strategy we set some high level ambitions for the workforce we want to see in 2025, which is near enough at hand to focus everyone’s attention, yet far enough away that we avoid getting bogged-down in today’s problems.

We have thought about the 2025 end point as being the norm, for all parts of the sector, and all sizes of employer, and one – crucially – which works during the downturns as well as in the good times. Those are ambitious criteria.

We have set the following principles (4 ‘A’s) for the Skills Strategy to underpin our approach:

  • Authoritative: we should say how things really are, and nail myths
  • Add value: and be careful neither to duplicate, nor get in the way of, what others are already doing
  • Address problems: not just describe a problem or opportunity, but do something about it
  • Focus on Action: no fat reports; no huge steering group (but open communication)

We are also clear that this strategy needs to work for all parties: employers, employees and Government.

Now that we are clear where we want to be, we will establish where we are against each ambition, agree what needs to happen – more specifically, who needs to do what – to close the gap between here and there, and (where we can) set targets and performance indicators.



Maritime UK Skills Strategy
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