Nautilus UK committee members have launched the next phase of activity for the Union’s Charter for Jobs – sending special postcards to MPs to highlight the problems around the way UK Certificates of Equivalent Competency (CEC) are issued.
The cards request MPs to call for a review of the system for granting them, taking into account the number of unemployed officers with an MCA Certificate of Competency and the future employment needs of the UK outside of the EU.
Latest figures show that one in three British seafaring jobs now goes to a worker resident outside the UK, whilst many UK officers are still seeking work following the downturn in the oil price and subsequent North Sea job losses.
Nautilus believes the system for issuing CECs is not adequately controlled and creates a pool of cheaper labour against which UK-resident seafarers struggle to compete. As part of the Union’s Charter for Jobs, the postcards call for the government to do more to protect UK maritime jobs and revisit a report into the issuing of CECs conducted in 2007, which was never concluded.
‘In 2015, there were more than 10,500 non-UK nationals with valid CECs. In that same year and the next, around 2,000 UK seafarer jobs were lost due to the downturn in the oil price alone. These seafarers have struggled to find work due, in part, to the amount of competition from lower-cost seafarers which is in turn driving down working conditions and pay,’ said Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson.
‘If the government continues to be complacent on the issue, we will witness a further decline of the nation’s essential maritime skills and an even greater dependence on other countries in a world of increasing political turbulence. With so many experienced British seafarers now out of work, reform is needed to the system for issuing CECs and to give our home-grown and home-trained maritime professionals the best possible chance of securing future employment.’
Nautilus is encouraging maritime professionals, friends and families resident in the UK to send a postcard to their MP to support the Union’s call for a review. Postcards were included with the latest Telegraph mailing and additional postcards can be requested by emailing [email protected]. Alternatively, a copy can be downloaded and printed out.
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Friday, April 14, 2017