A group of leading UK maritime organisations is focusing on developing the training and skills needed by UK merchant navy officers to make a successful career transition from ship to shore.
The group, comprising Maritime London, the Marine Society, the Merchant Navy Training Board, Nautilus International and Trinity House has commissioned research to understand the requirements of UK based maritime employers and identify educational and skills gaps.
The report’s findings and next steps will be discussed at a high-level summit on 17th October at Trinity House.
The report is based on qualitative and quantitative research of the views of maritime industry employers across Britain by maritime public relations agency Navigate PR and research consultancy Occam Insight. The researchers found that employers expected mariners to be better prepared for working ashore and that more needs to be done to help seafarers find out about shore-side opportunities.
According to the report’s authors, the adjustment in working practices from the ‘command and control’ system at sea to the more collaborative management style ashore takes time and together with a recognition in the profound change in culture, lifestyle and remuneration, this leads to a preference for those candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to making the change.
The summit will see maritime organisations and employers discuss what practical steps can be taken to ensure that the skills gap is reduced.
The report was commissioned as part of a series of recommendations by the Department for Transport’s 2015 Maritime Growth Study, an in-depth look at the steps needed to secure the UK’s position as a leading maritime cluster. The 2015 study highlighted the need for the identification and prioritisation of the key skill issues facing the UK maritime sector.
There are currently an estimated 140,900 people (excluding foreign seafarers) employed by ports, shipping and business services around the UK. Many of these roles, including those in legal, shipbroking, insurance, ship management, engineering and port sectors, rely on the skills of ex-merchant navy officers. In 2014, there were 10,910 certificated UK officers at sea together with a further 1,650 uncertificated officers, 8,420 ratings and 1,940 officer trainees.