Merchant Navy Training Board showcases UK excellence in seafarer skills and training

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cadet entrance examThe Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) held a reception during London International Shipping Week to showcase UK excellence in seafarer skills and training.

The event, on Wednesday, also saw the launch of a booklet – Building Our Future – which contains case studies from young people working in maritime services.

The booklet is a joint venture between Careers At Sea – the MNTB’s platform for careers promotion to young people – and Maritime UK and shows the journey of six young people who have chosen a career at sea. Their paths are all different and show the breadth of careers available in the wider maritime sector.

With 800 new entrant officer trainees currently envisaged this year, the event celebrated UK maritime skills and training with a keynote speech from Sir Alan Massey, head of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Attendees also heard from DFDS – which is leading the way in taking on its own rating apprentices – and from an officer trainee – who is also a Careers At Sea ambassador – just starting his career.

UK Chamber President Kenneth MacLeod will opened the event – Kenneth started his career at sea in 1959 as a galley boy on a Clyde steamer and has recently called for shipping companies to be able to include ratings trainees as part of their tonnage tax commitment.

Mr MacLeod has also commented on this week’s important news from Government announcement that it will raise the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) funding by 25% to £15m per year: “This is a clear vote of confidence from Government on the ability of the maritime sector to create UK jobs. UK shipping supports 190,000 UK jobs and the wider maritime sector supports 540,000 jobs. UK employment has grown 6% since 2009.

“I started my career as a junior rating on a ship’s galley and I know first-hand that giving young people more opportunities to work at sea is vital to the continuing success of our maritime economy.

“As a result of today’s announcement, more young people will have the chance to follow in my footsteps and build a career in global trade.”