Shipping Minister John Hayes will today (Thursday) launch a unique maritime graduate talent programme that has been developed in partnership with UK industry body Mersey Maritime.
During his visit Mr Hayes will also officially open one of the most advanced Maritime Bridge and Engine Simulator training facilities in Europe.
The Maritime Bridge and Engine Simulator enables students, marine pilots, ship masters and senior navigating officers to develop and practise their skills in a high tech, lifelike but risk-free environment.
The graduate scheme that will offer sponsorship placement opportunities to ten Merseyside companies operating in the maritime sector, will be rolled out in a partnership between Mersey Maritime and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), who signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2015. The aim of the MOU was to provide direct access between the university and maritime sector employers and lead to the identification of skills gaps.
Mr Hayes said: “I am delighted to be back in Merseyside unveiling this outstanding graduate programme and training facilities. It is by bringing together academics and industry through this programme, and using cutting edge simulation technology, that we’ll be able to successfully train up the next generation of mariners, and ensure the UK’s maritime industry remains world-leading for many years to come.”
The first cohort of graduates participating in the programme will represent the vanguard for talent management within a specific sector that could become a blueprint for other industry sectors.
The simulator is on the University’s Byrom Street Campus, alongside some of LJMU’s significant business partners, including the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).
Mersey Maritime CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke said: “As the representative body for the maritime sector in the Liverpool City Region it’s been our privilege to invite Mr Hayes back to Liverpool on a day that really showcases the maritime credentials of our city. Mersey Maritime’s partnership with LJMU, under the Maritime Knowledge Hub umbrella, brings academia and industry together in a way that is already providing direct benefits to business, leading to sustainable sector growth.”
This latest development is another stage of the three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between LJMU and Mersey Maritime. The launch also comes ahead of a visit from Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (UTP) as part of a larger Panamanian delegation later this month, to discuss further international research and teaching partnership opportunities across maritime programmes with seven Panama organisations. Mersey Maritime will hold an Export Club for 50 of its members on the morning of 26th October to explore trading opportunities between Liverpool based maritime businesses and their counterparts in Panama.
Mersey Maritime’s work to support business growth in the maritime sector is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.