The UK Government is partnering with three organisations across the UK on pilot projects which will support the development of green skills, and diversify the maritime sector while considering seafarer mental health.

Previously, the industry introduced mental health awareness training which is mandatory for every new seafarer. The funding will be used to provide further support for seafarer rights by introducing and maintaining programmes. 

Robert Courts, maritime minister, said: “Seafarer wellbeing is at the heart of our Maritime 2050 agenda, and we know that mental health difficulties at sea affect thousands of seafarers. We are committed to tackling this, and building a diverse, highly skilled and exciting sector across the board – from shipbuilders to bosuns.

“This funding will help us tackle this problem by supporting the excellent work being done by charities and social organisations, and foster new programmes.”

In March, a nine-point plan was published regarding protection for seafarers and improving long-term working conditions. The framework will be developed alongside the industry and unions.

Courts also launched the Recovery Route Map, which will focus on helping the maritime industry recover from the impact of the pandemic. The plan addresses how the workforce will be supported, how to stay competitive and drive green growth through innovative technology.

Ratings training for roles such as deck, engine room, hospitality and catering, will be reviewed by the Maritime Skills Commission.

It is expected that £230k of the funding will be allocated to Maritime UK in support of green skills, a Ratings Review and diversity plans, while £140k of the funding will be allocated to Ormiston Maritime Academy to promote the industry in schools located in areas considered essential for growth.

Ben Murray, CEO of Maritime UK, said: “To realise the vision that we have for the UK maritime sector in 2050, we need the best people from all backgrounds to offer new thinking on the big issues of our age.

“That means being an inclusive sector, one that invests in its people and prepares for the future.”