The Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill laid out the government’s response to the maritime growth study today (16 December 2015).
The Shipping and Ports Minister committed to taking steps to drive growth in the maritime sector, encouraging greater investment and making the UK flag more attractive to ship owners. Training is also a key focus with pledges to identify skills gaps, support maritime education and promote the wide range of careers in the sector.
The government has committed to taking forward recommendations made in the study including establishing a ministerial working group to tackle key issues in the sector and identify opportunities for future growth. The group met for the first time in November 2015.
The DfT will also undertake a fresh look at how many seafarers are needed for the future, and work to improve career opportunities including a review of the government’s support for maritime training (SMarT) scheme.
The study called for reform of the UK Ship Register to create a more commercial focus and encourage more ships to fly the world-famous Red Ensign. This has already begun with the announcement today of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s appointment of a new director of the UK Ship Register.
Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill said:
The maritime industry is a success story for our nation, and we are determined that the UK grows as a major international shipping country. We face strong competition across the world and it is vital we stay ahead of the curve.
That is why the publication of the maritime growth study earlier this year was an important milestone and we are already acting on the recommendations.
We will continue to offer our full support to industry, and together we can continue to build on the UK’s proud maritime history.
The UK’s maritime sector currently contributes at least £11 billion to the economy each year, and supports around 113,000 jobs and 6,600 businesses. The maritime growth study was published in September 2015 during London International Shipping Week.
It focused on 4 main themes; government, industry leadership, the need for a skilled workforce and the opportunities for marketing UK’s maritime sector. It was led by Lord Mountevans with the aim of cementing the UK’s standing as a world-leading maritime centre, and identifying opportunities for further growth.