'Back our SMarT+ proposals' - Platten tells MPs

UK Chamber CEO Guy Platten addressed MPs and Peers in Parliament this week, during a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maritime and Ports.

At the meeting, convened to discuss the future of seafarer training, Mr Platten told MPs to back the UK Chamber’s proposals for an enhanced Support for Maritime Training scheme from the Government.

The scheme, which would see Government substantially increase its existing £15m package to support seafarer training in return for a commitment from shipowners to employ seafarers for at least one year upon completion of training, could see 50% more cadets trained each year.

Mr Platten told MPs:

“Government has already been engaged and supportive of the idea in principle.  We now need Parliamentary support to get it over the line.

“Seafarers are among the most productive employees in the country.  There will be no greater example of the maxim that Britain is open for business than to have more UK seafarers moving goods around the world.”

He argued that there was no shortage of young people wanting to go so see, with at least 2 credible applicants for every cadetship offered last year. 

He added:

“Young people want a career at sea, shipowners want to employ them.  It is proof positive that we can create a new seafaring generation.  We just need the political will to bring it into being.”

Mr Platten was joined by Steve Todd of the RMT and Mark Dickinson of Nautilus International.