Without a ‘new and genuinely ambitious approach to training’ more and more jobs in the UK Merchant Navy will be lost to foreign nationals, the head of a major maritime charity warned at the launch of this year’s Seafarers Awareness Week campaign.
Commodore Barry Bryant, director-general of Seafarers UK, said the 2017 Seafarers Awareness Week — which is due to run between 24 to 30 June — will have two key themes: ‘Maritime Jobs at Sea and Ashore’ and ‘Sea Ports for Prosperity’.
He said the initiative — which is supported by Nautilus — aims to provide a platform for maritime organisations to ‘make the great British public wake up and realise we are an island nation’.
Speaking at the launch event on 9 February 2017, Maritime UK chairman David Dingle highlighted the ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to put seafaring skills at the top of the policy agenda by delivering the government’s Maritime Growth Study recommendations.
‘Make no mistake, in a global industry like ours Britain and the rest of the world will always be at risk of being undercut on price,’ he warned. ‘When all other things have become equal, all we are left with is our people and their skills.’
Mr Dingle said the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union could open up many opportunities. But, he added, ‘the one thing that will make or break the vision is the availability of skilled personnel.’
More information on the Seafarers Week website.
Friday, February 10, 2017