UK shipping firms urge to increase funds for seafarer training

21 November 2017 (Last Updated November 21st, 2017 12:41)

The UK Chamber of Shipping has called upon the Government to double the amount of funding designated for seafarer training from the current £15m to a sum of £30m.

UK shipping firms urge to increase funds for seafarer training
Crew members on-board a vessel. Credit: UK Chamber of Shipping.

The UK Chamber of Shipping has called upon the Government to double the amount of funding designated for seafarer training from the current £15m to a sum of £30m.

A letter outlining the request has already been sent to the UK’s State for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Exchequer Chancellor Philip Hammond and Department for Transport State Minister John Hayes.

The letter is backed by 40 member companies from the UK Chamber of Shipping.

“The government’s review of SMarT recognised that change was necessary and recommended the level of support should increase from £15m to around £30m annually.”

In addition, the UK Chamber and Nautilus International have also submitted a proposal seeking an extension to the government’s existing Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) programme.

The newly submitted proposal is known as SMarT Plus and is expected to garner additional government support for covering the expenses of seafarers training.

UK Chamber president Dr Grahaeme Henderson said: “The government’s review of SMarT recognised that change was necessary and recommended the level of support should increase from £15m to around £30m annually, to be competitive with other European Countries’ training.

“The government has a vision of a ‘Global Britain’ and shipping is willing and able to play its part in achieving this.

“SMarT Plus provides an opportunity for the government to prove it is serious in its ambition for the industry, the economy and for the British people.”

Nautilus is a trade union that currently represents more than 22,000 maritime professionals in the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The union has also sent its own letter to the UK Government requesting the implementation of findings from the SMarT review.