Shipping industry urges Government to double funding to £30m for recruitment drive

The shipping industry is calling on the Government to double the funding it puts towards helping train seafarers to £30m in a bid to protect UK maritime jobs as the country gets closer to Brexit.

The UK Chamber of Shipping said it had proposed an extension to the Government’s existing Support for Maritime Training scheme, known as SMarT, whereby its members would agree to employ the newly-qualified officers they trained for a sufficient period to enable them to attain higher qualifications.

Guy Platten, chief executive of the trade body, warned the UK maritime industry was facing competition from other shipping hubs including Hong Kong and Singapore, where the cost of training staff was lower than the UK, which at £65,000 is the second most expensive place to train a seafarer even with the Government’s £22,000 subsidy.

Furthermore, people trained abroad are able to then take jobs on UK-registered ships and there is also the pressing issue of the rising age of the UK’s sea-going work force.

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