The UK Chamber of Shipping has welcomed Government’s plans to introduce new technical qualifications, but raised questions as to why marine engineering is absent from the plans.
As part of the 2017 Budget, Government outlined its plans to introduce recommendations made by Lord Sainsbury on the development of T-Level qualifications, in what has been described as “the most ambitious post-16 education reforms since the introduction of A-levels 70 years ago.”
But whilst provisions have been made in the plans for specialised vehicle and aircraft engineering, no such opportunities will exist for marine engineering.
Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said: “Government is right to focus on developing new routes into engineering, and the proposed T-levels are an exciting innovation. But to exclude marine engineering from the qualification risks ignoring the needs of one of the UK’s most important industries. The UK shipping industry suffers from a significant shortfall in engineers at officer level, with a projected 11% shortage over the next decade. As the industry looks to the international workforce to plug the gap, British students are missing out on a lucrative career at sea.
“The inclusion of marine engineers in the existing trailblazer apprenticeship remains a promising prospect, but as yet this only applies at a rating level, and not to officers,” he added.