The UK Chamber of Shipping has contacted over 800 parliamentary candidates from around the country, asking them to back its campaign for enhanced support for maritime training.
The proposal, called SMarT Plus, would see a doubling in government support to GBP 30 million a year. In return, many leading shipowners will increase the number of seafarers they train and guarantee them their first job.
The benefits of this would be significant: British seafarers are among the most productive workers in the UK economy, contributing GBP 17,500 per year more to UK GDP than the average worker. According to the government’s own figures, the UK economy gets GBP5 back for every GBP1 invested in maritime training.
Results from the ComRes poll, commissioned by the UK Chamber, this month identified that MPs have a good general awareness of shipping’s significance to UK trade, which provides the Chamber with a great launchpad on which to base this campaign.
When asked to name the mode of transport that carries the largest proportion of import and export cargo to/from the UK, some 87 percent of MPs knew that the answer is shipping.